Luke Grimes Understands Kevin Costner's 'Unfortunate' “Yellowstone” Exit: 'You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do'

Costner left the Paramount Network drama in May 2023, and the series will conclude with part two of its fifth and final season this November

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty; Emma McIntyre/Getty </p> (L-R) Luke Grimes and Kevin Costner

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty; Emma McIntyre/Getty

(L-R) Luke Grimes and Kevin Costner

Luke Grimes is supporting his on-screen dad Kevin Costner.

In an interview with The Independent, Grimes, 40, addressed Costner’s contentious departure from Yellowstone. “Whatever happened there is unfortunate if it’s changed anything about how the show will unfold,” said Grimes, who plays Kayce Dutton, the son of Costner’s John Dutton III.

According to the Fifty Shades Darker actor, Costner became preoccupied with “passion projects” like directing and starring in the upcoming Western epic Horizon: An American Saga.

“At a certain point, you gotta do what you gotta do, man; you gotta do what you love,” Grimes concluded.

<p>Cam McLeod/Paramount Network </p> Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton in 'Yellowstone'

Cam McLeod/Paramount Network

Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton in 'Yellowstone'

Related: Inside Yellowstone’s Behind-the-Scenes Drama: From Kevin Costner’s Exit to Legal Battles

Rumors of Costner’s departure from the Paramount Network show surfaced in February 2023 following a Deadline report, indicating that the star’s divided attention had become “a source of frustration for [creator Taylor] Sheridan.”

In May 2023, Entertainment Tonight confirmed that Costner would not return for future installments of the series. That same month, Paramount announced that the hit show would end after the second half of season 5, initially slated for November 2023 but postponed due to the writer's strike. It is now scheduled to premiere Nov. 10, 2024.

Sheridan, 53, said he was “disappointed” that the Golden Globe winner quit, as it “truncates the closure of his character.” Still, he praised Costner’s “symbolic and powerful” portrayal of John.

Though the Hell or High Water writer did not comment on the reports of on-set tension, he said: “I’ve never had an issue with Kevin that he and I couldn’t work out on the phone.”

<p>Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> (L-R) Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton and Kevin Costner as John Dutton III in 'Yellowstone'


(L-R) Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton and Kevin Costner as John Dutton III in 'Yellowstone'

Related: All About Kevin Costner's 'Moral Death' Clause for His 'Yellowstone' Character John Dutton

During a child support hearing amid his divorce from ex-wife Christine Baumgartner, the actor spoke out about his exit for the first time. He revealed that his decision to leave the show was influenced by the choice to split season 5 into two parts.

“I couldn’t help them anymore. We tried to negotiate, they offered me less money than previous seasons, there were issues with the creative…” he testified.

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On April 9, 2024, months after his exit from Yellowstone, Costner expressed interest in returning to his role as the Dutton family patriarch. “I'd like to be able to do it but we haven't been able to," he told Entertainment Tonight. “I hope it [works out].”

Yellowstone can be streamed on Peacock.

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