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The Real Reason Kevin Costner Cast His Son In Horizon: An American Saga

All eyes are on Kevin Costner's "Horizon: An American Saga," which features a controversial casting decision. Costner recently announced his "Yellowstone" Season 5, Part 2 status, revealing that he's done with Taylor Sheridan's blockbuster series. Instead, all his efforts are focused on "Horizon," which is set to debut this year with two entries. The films, which he directed and co-wrote, will also feature the debut of his son Hayes Costner. "He's a beautiful boy, and he's quiet, and I have not shoved my children into the business," he said on the "Today" show.

In an era when Hollywood's nepo babies are being criticized, Costner has come out and defended his decision to cast the 15-year-old. "I realize there's so many young actors out there that would just kill to be in this movie," he continued, "and I don't wanna take those parts away from them just 'cause I can place my own children in." Costner admitted that the decision was "selfish" in nature, but he felt compelled to work with his son. The multi-hyphenate talent also noted that Hayes' role was small and required only two weeks of filming. 

"He didn't have a lot of experience, but he's really beautiful in the movie," the filmmaker said, teasing the character his son plays, Nathaniel Kittredge, in what's set to be Costner's magnum opus. It's interesting how Costner himself acknowledged the whole "nepo baby" angle and didn't shy away from how his son has no acting experience. 

Casting his son in Horizon was important for Kevin Costner

The filmmaker has been cooking up the western series since the late '80s, making "Horizon" nothing short of a passion project. Over the years, the pictures went through various stages of development. "Horizon" finally ramped up when Kevin Costner decided to put $38 million of his own money into the series. He has discussed how he felt time was slipping by and now was the perfect time to double down on his passion. Perhaps Costner spent too long working on the films, as critics haven't held back on criticizing the first "Horizon." 

The films feature Costner in the pivotal role of Hayes Ellison, a name he decided upon years ago. The character of Hayes was so important to Costner that he decided to name his son after him. During his "Today" chat, Costner explained just how proud he was of his son Hayes, who has a key scene in the first film. "In the end, there's a nobility, there's an absolute fatalness about it. It's what you want in a son," he said. "It's what you don't want a son to do, and at the end of the day, you're proud that he would make that choice." 

While details on Nathaniel Kittredge's character are slim, it's clear that Costner is excited by his son's character and performance. A decent number of fans have no issue with the filmmaker casting his son, like X user @JardaniJovonovv, who wrote, "He risked his life savings to make a movie and you guys have a problem with him casting his son in the movie, really?!"