Kevin Costner Defends Casting Son Hayes, 15, in ‘Horizon’

Kevin Costner is keeping in the family for his new movie Horizon: An American Saga. The actor recently opened up about casting his 15-year-old son Hayes Costner in the film, defending the "selfish" choice by explaining that it was a good opportunity for the pair to bond.

"He's a beautiful boy, and he's quiet, Costner told the Today show. "And I have not shoved my children into the business." In the Civil War-era film, Hayes portrays a character named Nathaniel Kittredge, with his doting dad offering, "I realize there are 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, 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," Costner confessed, adding that Hayes "didn't have a lot of experience," but delivers a "really beautiful" performance in Horizon.


CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 19: Kevin Costner and his son Hayes Costner depart the "Horizon: An American Saga" Red Carpet at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 19, 2024 in Cannes, France.

- Gisela Schober / Getty Images)

"It's a really complicated scene. In the end, there's a nobility, there's an absolute fatalness about it. It's what you want in a son," Costner said. "It's what you don't want a son to do, and at the end of the day, you're proud that he would make that choice."

A passion project for Costner, Horizon will be a series of four Western films that he stars in, co-wrote, produced, and directed. The films are set in pre- and post-Civil War America, and depict the expansion of the American West. The synopsis of the film reads that Horizon "explores the lure of the Old West and how it was won – and lost – through the blood, sweat and tears of many."

In addition to the Yellowstone lead and his son, Horizon: An American Saga features a hefty cast of acclaimed actors, such as Thomas Haden Church, Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, Tatanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Ella Hunt and Jamie Campbell Bower. Chapter 2 will add Glynn Turman, Kathleen Quinlan, and Giovanni Ribisi.

Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 is set to open in theaters on June 28, 2024, with Chapter 2 debuting just weeks later, on Aug. 16, 2024. Two more installments are on the docket as well, as Horizon – Chapter 3 was in production but was forced to halt due to the writers' and actors' strikes. The next two do not have announced premiere dates at this time.