"Yellowstone," a contemporary western, stars Kevin Costner and highlights a ranching family on the verge of losing their land to a Native American reservation, urban land developers and a national park.
When Costner was approached by show creator Taylor Sheridan to play John Dutton, owner of the largest ranch in the United States, the 63-year-old jumped at the opportunity to showcase his acting chops in a unique way.
“The appeal of this was the outdoors,” Costner told Fox News. “[But] it was really the story that Taylor crafted in the script, and that was what I gravitated towards. I think a good story is always relevant, and that becomes the time to tell it, you know.”
“This is really the right time to tell 'Yellowstone,'” he added.
Though the premise of the show seemingly displays political undertones in regards to land-use and land ownership, Sheridan, 48, and Costner made it a point to illustrate that there is a significant link between current ongoing issues and the historical importance of understanding how valuable land commodities change hands.
“I wouldn’t say it’s political, I would say it’s socially aware,” the “Sons of Anarchy” star told us. “I would say that these issues, you know, ownership of land and the use of land has been an issue since the first pilgrims landed here and those issues still exist, so it’s relevant to today."
“There’s a real romance to it,” he added. “There’s a danger to it, and in a lot of ways it's a microcosm of issues that we’re dealing with everywhere, so it was a great way to explore those things.”
Costner added the show needed a certain type of person to tackle these struggles head on and come out the other side.
“I didn’t think about it politically," the Academy Award-winner said. “I think about the early ranching people. It requires land and it requires people with the personality tough enough and strong enough to hold on to them and these ranches.”
“These ranches were built on that, and there's been somebody tugging at them constantly, you know. We took it from somebody,” he added.
“Yellowstone” debuts June 20 on Paramount Network. It is Costner’s first acting effort since he played Larry Bloom, Molly Bloom’s father, in the Academy Award-nominated film “Molly’s Game” in 2017.
Fox News' Michael Tammero contributed to this report.