Kevin Costner defends casting son in his new western movie

By Alexandra Heilbron on June 19, 2024 | 22 Comments

Hayes Costner in Horizon: An American SagaKevin Costner‘s latest movie project, Horizon: An American Saga (which will be shown in chapters), has been in the works for many years. He not only directs and stars in the project, but co-wrote and is a producer.

However, he’s being slammed for casting his youngest son, Hayes, in a minor role. Hayes plays Nathaniel Kittredge, who defends his family when their home is invaded. Hayes, 15, who was 13 during filming, told “It was thrilling and exhilarating to shoot with so much action, I mean big action, happening all around me. Like people running, glass breaking, gunfire and all that commotion! It was an adrenaline rush for sure.”

Kevin also wanted his 14-year-old daughter Grace Costner to play a role in the film, but she declined. He told “There are kids that would kill to do that, but she knows herself. It was a struggle and she cried and she didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Whenever I can trap my children, I do, to come be with me, you know?”

His 36-year-old son Joe Costner, who is the frontman for the rock band Dudley, also plays a role in a chapter of Horizon: An American Saga. Joe has previously played small roles in his dad’s films Tin Cup (1996) and The Postman (1997).

As for those who are criticizing Kevin for casting Hayes in the film when so many struggling, aspiring, or up-and-coming actors would love a role that could jump-start their careers, the actor/director said on the Today show, “He’s a beautiful boy, and he’s quiet. And I have not shoved my children into the business. I realize there’s so many young actors out there that would just kill to be in this movie. And I don’t want to take those parts away from them just ’cause I can place my own children in.

“But, in a sense, since it was a smaller part, I selfishly wanted him with me for the week, two weeks, he was with me. And we would drive to the set every day, and he would whisper. He didn’t have a lot of experience, but he’s really beautiful in the movie.”

The first chapter of Horizon: An American Saga debuts in theaters on June 28, while the second chapter hits theaters August 16th. ~Alexandra Heilbron

Comments & Discussion

  1. Heather • June 19, 2024 @ 4:37 PM

    I hate nepotism. There are a lot of actors who have never made it and never will, while hundreds of nepo-babies are front and center in Hollywood. Having said that though, I’m curious to see how good his kid will be in it.

  2. Gail • June 20, 2024 @ 4:10 AM

    It’s nobody’s business if Kevin Costner wants his son to be in the film he is making.
    Get a life people. Try making a film yourself and see how easy it is.

  3. J • June 20, 2024 @ 10:14 AM

    Big deal!! It’s done all the time in Hollywood. People just like to single out certain actors for it. Get a life is right. Bigger problems in the world in case no one has noticed…..

  4. David • June 20, 2024 @ 10:42 AM

    So he gave a small part to his son. Who cares. I sure the boy will do awesomely. I’m not really into this type of movie but I might check it out when It streams on some service or other.

  5. dj • June 20, 2024 @ 11:01 AM

    give it a rest people . Every parent is proud to see their kids . Why should Kevin Costner not want to have that same experience.

  6. Linda • June 20, 2024 @ 11:02 AM

    Who cares? We all love our children so much. Why should an actor not feel the same and choose his family first.

  7. Mark Simunac • June 20, 2024 @ 11:10 AM

    Jealousy is a deep pit… Once you’re in it’s hard to get out… If that were me, I would’ve done the same thing as Kevin did… Each To their own … and good luck at what you do.

  8. Terry • June 20, 2024 @ 11:11 AM

    I don’t know what the big deal is!! Nepotism has been alive & well for many, many years. Meryl Streep has all three of her daughters into acting — Mamie, Grace, & Louisa Gummer. Howz about Kirk Douglas — Mike Douglas? Donald Sutherland — Keifer ?? Mariska Hargitay being daughter of Jane Mansfield.

  9. Terry • June 20, 2024 @ 11:12 AM

    (continued)== That black actor who slapped the host on the awards night (sorry, can’t think of his name) has been getting his son into movies. There’s a whole list of them — but not that I agree with it. I’m on board sharing the thoughts that it messes up the chances of so many aspiring students going to acting school trying to merge into a lucky slot somewhere. It isn’t fair & I DON’T think jobs should be “inherited”.

  10. Terry • June 20, 2024 @ 11:13 AM

    (continued)– As for Pat Sajak’s daughter Maggie appearing regularly on Wheel of Fortune — I think this is DEPLORABLE!!! All that girl ever did was get born — and POOF — there she is, a celebrity on the show that has employed her father for way too long. Privileged little so & so. It makes me want to throw up and boycott the show forever.
    So what is it with Kevin Costner trying to do the same for his kids??? Why all the criticism & scrutiny??

  11. JOE • June 20, 2024 @ 11:38 AM

    Who cares if he casts’ his son.
    Who wouldn’t?
    Yep, that’s what’s most important these days.
    Ever hear of LOVE?
    We are so confused if we get upset with this kind of stuff.
    there’s more important things to worry about.

    Amplify Empathy!

  12. Nikki M • June 20, 2024 @ 11:53 AM

    I agree…leave Kevin and his family alone. He wants more time with his kids or darn ! He’s a good dad and should be proud of himself. He does enough for the community and has every right to cast his kid. In my opinion that’s not nepotism. He’s expressing love for his family. Nepotism has nothing to do with love and everything to do with “who you know “. Smarten up people…let the guy be a dad!

  13. Victoria • June 20, 2024 @ 12:05 PM

    I cast my daughter in a play I was directing. I got some blowback – until it became known that I recused myself from casting! Plus she kicked ass and several people connected with that theatre company went on to cast her. She proved herself and I got an apology from the person who accused me of nepotism. Costner self-financed the film – he can do whatever he wants – no apologies necessary.

  14. Debbie • June 20, 2024 @ 12:06 PM

    I like Kevin Costner, and I was planning on seeing the movie. That said, I am not that thrilled about his kids being in the movie, but who you know, not what you know, seems to have always been around. Why not try out his kids if they want to really be in acting, but fairly audition others, as well? Of course, when I have heard of that being done, the ‘kids’ seem to get chosen. (of the famous actor). This story bothers me, only in the sense that Kevin said he did not force his kids to be in the movie, but he wanted them with him, etc. And a few other contradictions in the story, of him saying similar. Kind of hypocritical. Whatever…possibly also, have the kids that want to get into acting, make it on their own first. I think some have even gone under a different name. I suppose it could work both ways. The kids could be expected to do well, with famous parents, but there are bad actors, too. In regular jobs, this happens as well. So…

  15. Colleen • June 20, 2024 @ 12:22 PM

    Good for you Kevin…his movie, his choices! Complainers need to get a life if you were in this situation you would choose your child too! Sometimes people just have advantages and everyone whines about it!

  16. Bobby • June 20, 2024 @ 12:41 PM

    Costner wrote, produced, and is staring in this picture – tens of thousands of people will get paid because of his work, and millions more will pay to see it. I would much rather see a story about the 15-25,000 he gave jobs to with his work than the one person he is related to.

  17. MA • June 20, 2024 @ 1:32 PM

    Why not??? His movie…his choice. Not one of us would miss the opportunity to help our kids in this way. People need to stop being
    such hypocrites.

  18. XM • June 20, 2024 @ 3:48 PM

    What’s the problem with that? Any child of a famous parent will either sink or swim if they do something with that parent. So the if I have a business and a hire my son, that’s bad? Oh wait nobody cares because there is no fame involved. Go touch some grass.

  19. Gwen • June 20, 2024 @ 4:15 PM

    And perhaps deep down he recognized that his son could be an aspiring actor himself. Nepotism happens all the time, but if the kid was good in the role, leave him alone.

  20. Darrin • June 20, 2024 @ 7:10 PM

    I remember when Clint Eastwood had his son play a role in one of his movies and no one said boo! But then, Clint is an Icon. The same cannot be said for Costner. Just sayin’.

  21. Jo Jo Smith • June 20, 2024 @ 9:48 PM

    You’re all a confluence of vacuous wastrel parasites. You think a father is going to put YOU before his own kids—? Exalt yourselves upon your own merits, and, for the rest of our sakes, busy yourself with the realignment of your priorities: cellphone-crazed cronies.

  22. Gail • June 21, 2024 @ 12:01 AM

    With all of the horrible events going on in the world, this is what people are worried about.
    Be Thankful for what you have and leave the good people alone with your negativity.
    Kevin Costner is doing kind and loving thoughts to the world, not like Putin and the other
    ahole from North Korea who pour negativity into our world, they are the ones to go after.
    Again, focus on what you can do to help people not put the good ones down. Look at what
    Mother Teresa did for the world with all of her kindness to people who needed her healing.
    Focus on Healing not Hurting.

  23. Deb • June 22, 2024 @ 12:32 PM

    His film, his choice, his money…
    No big deal! Good job Kevin – I am excited to see if he has his dad’s mannerism & as handsome as Mr. Cosner.

  24. Debi • June 23, 2024 @ 12:33 AM

    I think that Kevin is the one to decide who he wants to cast in the movie. I really like the fact the he actually does gives his son a roll in the movie which is something father and son can experience together!

  25. Debi • June 23, 2024 @ 12:33 AM

    I think that Kevin is the one to decide who he wants to cast in the movie. I really like the fact the he actually does gives his son a roll in the movie which is something father and son can experience together!

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