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Kevin Costner explains why he 'selfishly' cast son Hayes, 15, in 'complicated' Horizon scene

The Yellowstone actor's son with ex Christine Baumgartner is featured in Horizon: An American Saga

Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
June 18, 2024
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Throughout his four decades of being a father, Kevin Costner never expected for any of his seven kids to follow in his footsteps, but he's happy one of them is featured in his long-awaited passion project.

The Yellowstone actor, 69, is weeks away from releasing the first installment of Horizon: An American Saga, a four-part film extravaganza all about the history of the American West, which he self-funded.

In addition to himself and fellow cast members Sienna Miller, Jena Malone, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Sam Worthington, among others, the director's son Hayes, who he shares with ex-wife Christine Baumgarter, also has a special cameo.

Kevin Costner's son, Hayes, makes acting debut in Horizon: An American Saga

During an appearance on the Today Show on Monday, June 17, Kevin opened up to host Savannah Guthrie about his decision to cast Hayes, 15, and how it came to be.

"I have not shoved my children into the business," he first noted, adding: "I realize there's so many young actors 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 [it]."

Still, he said: "In this instance, it was a smaller part. I selfishly wanted him with me for the week, two weeks he was with me."

Kevin Costner and his son Hayes Costner © Getty
Kevin and Hayes at the Cannes premiere of Horizon

The filming of Horizon, which took place in Kevin's developing filming compound in Utah, largely happened just as the notorious Yellowstone scheduling drama unfolded, and as he was thrust into an acrimonious legal battle over the terms of his divorce from ex Christine, which included spousal, child support and custody disputes.

MORE: Kevin Costner, 69, talks about 'tough times' and raising his three teens after messy divorce

MORE: Kevin Costner offers Yellowstone update after calling out team for 'not speaking up for' him over set drama

"He's a beautiful boy and he's quiet," the doting dad further gushed, adding that Hayes accomplished a "really beautiful" performance in what he described as "a really complicated scene."

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner with their three children © Getty
The actor shares his three youngest kids with Christine

In addition to Hayes, Kevin also shares Cayden, 17, and Grace, 14, with Christine, plus Annie, 40, Lily, 37, and Joe, 36 with his ex-wife Cindy Silva, to whom he was married from 1978 to 1994, and Liam, 26, with former partner Bridget Rooney.

MORE: Kevin Costner details emotional moment with kids: 'They got a little startled by it'

Cayden Wyatt Costner Lily Costner, Hayes Costner, Grace Avery Costner, Kevin Costner and Annie 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.© Getty
He had five of his seven kids by his side at the premiere

Though the first part of Horizon only just premiered in Cannes this year, Kevin has been working on it for so long that in fact Hayes was named after a character his dad wrote for the project before he was born in 2009.

MORE: Kevin Costner's Field of Dreams co-star makes surprising comment about his 'paternal energy'

Kevin Costner speaks onstage during the Warner Bros. Pictures Presentation during CinemaCon 2024 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on April 09, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada© Getty
Horizon is out in theaters on June 28

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight in April, he joked: "I was watching him grow up and I was thinking, 'Man I better get with it and make this movie.'"

"He's very good in the small part that he's done," he added, and emphasized that in spite of the brevity of the role, he nonetheless has a real "impact" on the movie.

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