Kevin Costner on casting son in 'Horizon': 'We're locked together in a film forever'

"I think he has an impact on the movie."

Kevin Costner on casting son in 'Horizon': 'We're locked together in a film forever'
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
April 10, 2024, 2:10 PM

Kevin Costner says son Hayes' acting debut in his latest directorial effort "Horizon: An American Saga" has a real "impact" on the film.

The two-time Oscar winner told Entertainment Tonight at the Warner Bros. Pictures presentation at CinemaCon 2024 that he's been working on this Western epic for so long that the character he plays in the film, Hayes Ellison, was the inspiration for his son's name.

"I named him after the character I play in this," he said. "So I was watching him grow up and I was thinking, 'Man, I better get with it and make this movie.'"

"I captured him and I brought him on, and he's very good in this small part that he's done," Costner, 69, said of Hayes, 15. "If you see it, I think he has an impact on the movie."

The "Yellowstone" actor also shared that, while he admittedly doesn't like to give parts away, Hayes didn't have to audition for the role.

Kevin Costner attends Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Big Picture," a special presentation of its upcoming slate during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, at Caesars Palace on April 9, 2024 in Las Vegas.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

"I understand that there's young actors out [there] that would kill for these parts. And so mine have to respect the profession," Costner said. "But in certain instances, this was something I thought he could handle."

"I wanted him close and so I did it. So we're locked together in a film forever," he continued. "Actually, I'm not in any scenes with him, but I directed him when he was little and now he's big."

Costner previously gushed about Hayes' involvement in the film when the first trailer for "Horizon: An American Saga" debuted online in February.

"When it's your movie you get to pick who you hang out with 👍🏻," he wrote on Instagram at the time. "Really proud of my son, Hayes, for making his acting debut in #HorizonAmericanSaga."

Chapter 1 of "Horizon: An American Saga" arrives in theaters on June 28, with Chapter 2 releasing Aug. 16.