I absolutely love “Yellowstone.” I know there are things that we haven’t yet uncovered about John Dutton (Kevin Costner), but down deep he seems like a strong man who puts family first. Perhaps he was distant after losing his wife, but the contempt his children have for him … I just don’t get it. Thoughts? — Kim
Matt Roush: The way I see John Dutton is as a classic antihero, whose drive to build and save his ranch was achieved so ruthlessly that it pretty much destroyed his family, made worse by the premature death of a wife who (while also a tough cookie from what we’ve seen in flashbacks) could have smoothed out his rough edges.
His children obviously did everything they could growing up to incur his favor, or even love, often at the cost of their own souls. They all see their own damage as coming from the top, blaming their father even as they revere and fear him.
It’s complicated, as it ought to be, and casting Kevin Costner in the role, working against his own early career image as an admirable hero, reminds me how it felt back in the day when they would cast someone such as Henry Fonda or James Stewart against type as a villain.
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