Kevin Costner ‘Read All the Stories’ Spouting Untrue Rumors About ‘Yellowstone’ Exit: ‘I Was Disappointed Nobody’ at the Studios ‘Stepped Up to Defend’ Me

Kevin Costner continues to double down on his exit from “Yellowstone,” in which he played lead character John Dutton for four and a half seasons. In a cover story for People magazine, the Oscar-winning actor said he “read all the stories” in the press that perpetuated untrue rumors about his decision to leave the show.

“I was disappointed that nobody on [the studio] side… ever stepped up to defend what it was I actually did for them,” Costner said. “There came a moment where I thought, ‘Wow, when is somebody going to say something about what I have done versus what I haven’t done?'”

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Costner told GQ magazine in May that his choice to leave “Yellowstone,” one of the most popular shows on television, all stemmed from the decision to split the show’s fifth season into two parts. He said that a date was set for him to resume production on his feature directorial effort “Horizon” and the scripts for the second half of “Yellowstone” Season 5 never even came in before that. At some point, Costner only had a week left of time to finish his “Yellowstone” duties before jumping back into “Horizon.” He’s “disappointed” no one on the studio side supported him when rumors started flying that Costner would only work for a week.

“When it was first pitched to me by [showrunner] Taylor [Sheridan] it was one season and [like] a long movie, which [is] speaking my language. … But ultimately, I think what happened was the studio didn’t want that,” Costner now told People. “And because he’s such a prolific writer, he said, ‘I can do that. I can make a series that goes on’.”

Costner stressed that he gladly “stepped up” the first time “Yellowstone” expanded, adding: “I said, ‘I’ll do it for three seasons’, and I ended up doing it for five.” And Costner was more than happy to continue to do the same with the series, he said, but at some point no new material was coming in and he didn’t want an indefinite “Yellowstone” pause to have a greater impact on his career interests.

“There was a moment where that show for me stopped for 14 months…That’s the fact,” Costner said. “I could have done a lot of things in that time, but I wasn’t aware that that [hold-up] was going to happen.”

Costner has been saying since at least April that he would love to close out his arc on “Yellowstone.” The show’s fifth and final season was split into two halves. The season’s first eight episodes included Costner and aired in fall 2022. The final six episodes are now in production and will start airing in November.

“I would love to go back under the right circumstances,” Costner told “Today” earlier this month. “I think that all of us want. For me, it really needs to be the right circumstances…Saying there’s a chance, there’s always a chance. love the thing. You’ve got to be really clear about that.”

The final episodes of “Yellowstone” kick off Nov. 10 on Paramount Network.

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