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Yellowstone's Ryan Bingham Confirms What We Suspected About Kevin Costner's On-Set Behavior

Among the band of tough nuts wandering around in worn-down denim and cowboy hats in Taylor Sheridan's "Yellowstone," none are a patch on Kevin Costner's father of an empire, John Dutton. Patriarch of the modern-day Dutton family, head of the family business, and forceful overseer of his children's various enterprises, Costner's cold, stern alter-ego is a man who routinely makes it clear he is not one to be trifled with lightly. Given such an effortlessly tough exterior, it only seems natural for audiences to wonder... Just how much of John Dutton comes from the two-time Academy Award-winning star's real personality?

Ryan Bingham, the actor who plays Walker on the Emmy-nominated series, might have a potentially interesting perspective on the matter. In "Yellowstone," Walker is portrayed as the odd man out among the various ranch hands on the Dutton Yellowstone Ranch. In fact, in Season 2, a particularly nasty encounter with John Dutton's right-hand man, Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), nearly results in Walker's untimely demise. Although these characters are not close in the series, surely that's all just for entertainment value, right? 

So, how does Bingham feel about Costner in real life and, perhaps even more importantly, do the rest of the "Yellowstone" cast ever find themselves on the receiving end of John Dutton's signature menacing stare? Thankfully, the cast and crew of "Yellowstone" seem more than willing to share details about on-set life, including information about Costner that paints the actor in a decidedly different manner than that of his stoic on-screen counterpart.

Kevin Costner is a true gent, according to Ryan Bingham

As viewers might have hoped, it doesn't take long to realize that Costner's "Yellowstone" persona is firmly confined to the boundaries of the small screen. In a wide-ranging interview with the Los Angeles Times released in February, Bingham covered a variety of interesting topics related to himself and his job on the set of "Yellowstone." Indeed, from talking about his tragic upbringing to the plethora of different locations he's once called home, Bingham left little to the imagination when it comes to his off-camera life. 

Unsurprisingly, he also had good things to say about his on-screen and off-screen boss. Bingham revealed that despite John Dutton's tense nature, the seasoned star behind the character is actually a legitimate joy to be around. In fact, Bingham shared one particular detail about Costner's on-set behavior that makes him a true standout in Hollywood. According to Bingham, Costner insists that he shake the hand of each and every cast and crew member every day. Anyone who has ever worked on the set of a television series (or stuck around to watch the credits) knows that's quite a long list of people.

Of course, although John Dutton also seems like a handshake type of guy, most characters on the series can never be totally sure that the hand being offered by Dutton isn't also gripping a revolver. While many could likely have guessed it, it's surely a relief to recognize that Costner isn't quite so tightly wound up as the character he portrays.

Things aren't always as dark and dreary as they seem on set

As the leading man of the series (and an executive producer), Costner's behavior on the set surely lays down a tone for the rest of the cast and crew to follow. According to Bingham, people on the set of "Yellowstone" often feel the freedom to lighten the mood once the job is done for the day and the camera is turned off. 

"We're always joking backstage and things like that," Bingham said (via Los Angeles Times). "It's interesting how light and fun it is when we're on set and we're playing around. People are chasing around horses and things like that. But then when you see the show, it can be pretty dark."

Despite the noted difference between the series and real life, one particularly interesting aspect that connects the two is Bingham's penchant for playing the guitar. Although Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) doesn't take too kindly to Walker's melodies in Season 4 (he destroys his guitar), the real-life crew appears to like it quite a bit.

During a conversation released by Paramount Network as a "Yellowstone" bonus feature, a number of "Yellowstone" cast members noted Bingham's regular use of the guitar on set. Ian Bohen, the actor who plays Ryan, said that Bingham plays the guitar "constantly," something everyone seems to enjoy. "He pulls out a guitar, and he'll just get off in his own world," Bohen said (via YouTube). "And everyone stops what they're doing... and just listens to it. It's a dream. It's a private concert in our bunkhouse."

Given the excessive camaraderie on set in the real world, perhaps the perennially stressed Dutton clan could benefit from taking a short trip out to the bunkhouse too?

Paramount Network is expected to begin airing "Yellowstone" Season 5 at some point later this year.