Kevin Costner Talks About His Love of Westerns As ‘Open Range’ Turns 20

OPEN RANGE, Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, 2003
Touchstone/Everett Collection

If you’re a fan of Kevin Costner, chances are you love a good Western movie. Costner has appeared in many Western films and television shows over the years, notably starring in the fan-favorite Yellowstone series. Yellowstone has proven to be so popular that it spawned several spin-off series and has become quite a pop culture phenomenon. Costner has said that one of his favorites to work on was the movie Open Range, which was released 20 years ago.

The movie, based on a book called The Open Range Men by Lauran Paine, starred Costner as a Civil War veteran. He directed the film which also starred Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Diego Luna, and Michael Jeter. Costner once shared that he became so interested in doing Westerns because of his dad and his love of John Wayne.

OPEN RANGE, Michael Gambon, 2003

Touchstone/Everett Collection

He explained, “My dad really loved John Wayne. And he said to me, ‘You can do that.’ And of course I can’t be John Wayne. But I have personally taken an interest in the American Western.” He added that he is very proud of Open Range, in particular, as the final shootout has been ranked as one of the best of all time.

OPEN RANGE, Director Kevin Costner on the set, 2003

Touchstone/Everett Collection

Just a few years before Yellowstone premiered, he revealed that he wanted to do more Westerns in the future. Costner got his wish when he was cast as John Dutton in 2017. He won a Golden Globe for his performance several years later. Costner is now set to direct and star in a new Western called Horizon. He said about the upcoming project, “America’s expansion into the west was one that was fraught with peril and intrigue from the natural elements, to the interactions with the indigenous peoples who lived on the land, and the determination and at many times ruthlessness of those who sought to settle it. ‘Horizon’ tells the story of that journey in an honest and forthcoming way, highlighting the points of view and consequences of the characters’ life and death decisions.”

YELLOWSTONE, from left: Kevin Costner, Brecken Merrill, 'The Long Black Train', (Season 1, ep. 104, aired July 18, 2018)

Emerson Miller/Paramount Network/Everett Collection

If you want to watch Open Range, you can rent it on many streaming services including Prime Video and YouTube. If you’re into Westerns, keep in mind that the free streaming service Pluto TV just added some new Western channels and will add Yellowstone for a limited time in September. Now tell us, what is your favorite Costner Western?

Wild West- Heroes & Villains
Want More?

Wild West- Heroes & Villains

November 2022

Celebrates the unique sense of justice, compassion and adventure in the Old West as seen on TV and in the movies

Buy This Issue