Why Josh Lucas Is Confident Yellowstone Can Survive Without Kevin Costner

In exclusive interviews with E! News, the cast of Yellowstone—including Josh Lucas and Dawn Olivieri—discuss Kevin Costner's future and their biggest advice for Matthew McConaughey.

By Daniel Trainor Apr 03, 2023 10:54 PMTags
Watch: Yellowstone Cast Imagines a World Without Kevin Costner's John Dutton

The cast of Yellowstone is staying positive during a tumultuous time on and off the ranch. 

After it was reported in February that Kevin Costner—who plays family patriarch John Dutton on the hit Paramount Network western—would be leaving the show at the end of season five, its ensemble cast expressed optimism that the show can still thrive without its leading man.

"I do think so," Josh Lucas, who plays young John Dutton on the series, exclusively told E! News' Francesca Amiker at PaleyFest April 1. "I think the show shifts based on where [creator] Taylor [Sheridan]'s energy is, where Taylor's focus and his mind is. It's a fever dream."

Josh also noted that, as the show has grown in popularity, so has the viewers' admiration for a wide swath of the show's characters.

"What you're seeing is the idea that people are also deeply invested in Beth (Kelly Reilly), Rip (Cole Hauser), Jamie (Wes Bentley)," he said, "and all the different iterations of how the show evolves and emerges."

For the record, Paramount Network would not confirm Kevin's exit from the series, saying in a statement to E! News at the time of the report, "Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that's the case for a long time to come."

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Despite playing season five newcomer Sarah Atwood on Yellowstone, Dawn Olivieri—who also played Claire Dutton in Yellowstone prequel series 1883—said she's just as in the dark about Kevin's future on the show as the rest of us. But that hasn't stopped her and co-star Wendy Moniz, who plays Senator Lynelle Perry, from trying to get to the bottom of things.

"Wendy and I text each other like, ‘Do you know anything?'" Dawn said. "We don't know anything. Nobody tells us anything. You think we're in the know? We're really not in the know at all."

Mostly, Dawn is just hoping her time hasn't run out to appear on screen with her Oscar-winning cast mate

"I would be really bummed if I'm on the show and I don't get a chance to work with him," she said about Kevin. "That would be a real sad day for me."


In happier news, Paramount executive Chris McCarthy recently confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that a Yellowstone project starring Matthew McConaughey is currently in development. While details remain scarce—including where his character would even fit into the Yellowstone timeline—his potential co-stars are already excited about the chance to work with him.

"When I heard it, I was like, ‘Of course, that makes sense,'" Wendy said. "He's built for it in every way."

Mo Brings Plenty—who plays Mo—agreed, saying, "First of all, he's from Texas. He got that good Western swagger. You can't go wrong with that."

However, Josh teased that Matthew's credentials are about to be put to the test.

"He better really know how to ride a horse," he said with a smile. "And I mean really know how to ride a horse. I think he does, but Taylor and the world of these cowboys and horses and all of it? If you don't ride really well, you'll feel it."

Enough said.

For more of the cast's interviews, catch the April 4 episode of E! News airing 11 p.m on E!. 

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