Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Kevin Costner Isn't A Fan Of Most Western Movies

Aside from sports movies, Kevin Costner is perhaps most commonly associated with Westerns. As both an actor and director, he's lent his talents to some beloved genre gems, including "Open Range," "Silverado," and "Dances with Wolves." The latter was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven. Costner went home with two trophies on Oscar night 1991: one for best picture, and the other for best director. Needless to say, he's left his mark on Westerns in a big way.

These days, Costner can be found flexing his cowboy chops in "Yellowstone," a neo-Western series about a Montana-based rancher trying to protect his ancestral plot of land from a variety of forces trying to encroach on it. John Dutton is the type of character Costner was seemingly born to play. Furthermore, "Yellowstone" has been a huge hit with audiences, with the premiere of the fourth season bringing in extraordinary viewership numbers.

Given that Costner gravitates toward cowboy roles, you'd think he was a fan of Westerns. However, it turns out that assumption isn't entirely accurate.

Kevin Costner says most Westerns miss the point

Kevin Costner sat down with "Good Morning America" back in 2019 to discuss "Yellowstone," but it didn't take long until the conversation shifted toward his overall opinion of Westerns. During the enlightening chat, the actor said that he isn't a fan of many films in the genre due to their simplistic qualities and ignorance toward real history.

According to Costner, the Old West was a "Victorian age" in which people wrote "beautiful letters" while struggling to cope with frightening lawlessness. However, Westerns have a tendency to address these aspects without any real substance. "I love the beauty of the country, but I won't tolerate bad language, meaning literacy, of a Western on TV or in film. I hate it. I don't like it when it's dumb," Costner revealed.

The actor went on to say that filmmakers have continually failed to capitalize on the genre's emotionally stirring qualities, which has dampened his interest in seeing on-screen interpretations of the cowboy lifestyle. "[The] architecture of a Western should be to actually frighten you," he stated. "Sitting down in the dark watching something and thinking, 'That could have just happened to me, and I don't know what I would have done.'"