Kevin Costner’s son doesn’t have ‘a lot’ of acting cred. Why he’s in ‘Horizon’ anyway

A man with short blond hair in a gray suit
Kevin Costner’s 15-year-old son appears in “a smaller part” in “Horizon,” the first chapter of the Oscar winner’s four-film saga.
(Joel Ryan / Invision / Associated Press)
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Apparently, this town is big enough for two Costners.

Kevin Costner’s upcoming western drama “Horizon: An American Saga” will star the Oscar-winning actor and director — and his 15-year-old son, Hayes Costner, in a minor role. But don’t call Hayes a nepo baby, quite yet. In a recent interview with “Today,” Kevin Costner said casting his son wasn’t about jump-starting his acting career.

“I realized there’s so many young actors out there that would kill to be in this movie,” he told “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie in a conversation published Monday. “I don’t want to take those parts away just ‘cause I can place my own children in [them].”

The former “Yellowstone” star defended casting his teen, noting that he plays a “smaller part” in the film and that hiring his son was part of his efforts to spend more time with him. The “Dances With Wolves” director-actor shares Hayes with ex-wife Christine Baumgartner, who filed for divorce in May 2023.


“Chapter 1,” which premiered Sunday at Cannes, has all the hallmarks of TV. Times staffers debate whether that’s a good or bad thing.

May 20, 2024

Baumgartner filed her petition after 18 years of marriage with Costner. The now-exes settled their divorce in September 2023 after a months-long court battle. Costner and Baumgartner also share 17-year-old Cayden and 14-year-old Grace.

“I selfishly wanted him with me for the week, two weeks he was with me,” Costner continued. “We would drive to the set every day... he didn’t have a lot of experience, but he’s really beautiful in the movie.”

Costner kept his lips sealed about the details of his son’s “Horizon” scene but teased that it’s “complicated” and has a “nobility” and “an absolute fatalness” about it.

“Horizon: An America Saga” makes its theatrical bow June 28 but premiered in May at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival. Costner’s film was met with an 11-minute standing ovation, according to Deadline. The western epic, the first of a promised four-film saga, comes a year after Costner unexpectedly departed “Yellowstone” amid speculation of tensions with show creator Taylor Sheridan and negotiation troubles.

“Yellowstone” debuted in 2018 and starred the two-time Oscar winner as John Dutton, the family patriarch who owns Montana’s largest ranch. Costner left the series to work on his “Horizon” saga, which has been in the works for 35 years, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Kevin Costner is keeping his ‘Yellowstone’ options open, after a contentious exit from Taylor Sheridan’s hit series. If the show circles back to him, ‘I’d love to do it,’ he said.

April 11, 2024

“His movie seems to be a great priority to him and he wants to shift focus,” Sheridan told THR last June. “I sure hope [the movie is] worth it — and that it’s a good one.”


As Costner prepares to share “Horizon” with audiences and “Yellowstone” ramps up for its final episodes in November, the actor is leaving the door back to the Dutton ranch open. On Monday, he told Guthrie, “I would love to go back under the right circumstances.”

Until then, Costner is committed to promoting “Horizon,” which he hopes will stand the test of time. During his film’s Cannes opening, Costner urged viewers to think of a film’s worth beyond its opening weekend success. Movies, he said in May, are “about their life.”

“About how many times you’re willing to share it. And I hope that you do share this movie with your sweethearts, with your children,” he continued. “I feel so lucky. I feel so blessed. And there’s three more.”