Who Plays Young John Dutton in Yellowstone?

The fifth season of Paramount Network’s Western seriesYellowstone‘ revolves around John Dutton’s efforts to protect his Yellowstone Dutton Ranch from Market Equities, a company that plans to build a city on John’s land. He gets elected as the governor of Montana, which gives him the authority to wage war against the company. The second episode of the season offers a flashback to John’s past as he fought a builder who polluted the nearby creek. The flashback scenes establish how John has always cared for the land and protected the same from “invaders.” But who exactly plays the younger version of Kevin Costner‘s character? Let us share the answer! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Who Plays Young John Dutton?

Josh Lucas, known for his performances as Jake Perry in ‘Sweet Home Alabama‘ and Leo Beebe in ‘Ford v Ferrari,’ plays the younger version of John Dutton. Lucas first appears as John in the third episode of the first season. He appears in two more episodes in the first season and another one in the second season. Lucas’ appearance in the second episode of the fifth season is his first after the second season appearance. When he auditioned for a role in ‘Yellowstone,’ Lucas wasn’t initially selected. However, his love for co-creator Taylor Sheridan‘s writing made him send “little notes and messages” to the latter about how the co-creator “made a mistake” by not selecting him.

Lucas then received a text asking whether the actor could be on the filming set of the show. “Then strangely, I got this text saying could I be on set the next day for a different character in a different part, and I’m kind of amazed and grateful it happened that way,” Lucas revealed how he eventually managed to get his role. “I was very, very honored to go do it [play the young John Dutton]. I really find Taylor’s work extraordinary, and Kevin is an icon for a reason,” the actor told Collider about the experience of playing the younger John.

It was important for Lucas not to imitate Kevin Costner to play the younger John. Since the younger and older Johns are two highly distinct versions of the same person, emotionally and physically, Lucas had to bring out the distinction through his portrayal. He and Sheridan referred to Robert De Niro‘s portrayal of Marlon Brando‘s iconic character Vito Corleone in ‘The Godfather Part II‘ to separate Lucas’ John from Costner’s. “Taylor and I talked about the idea of The Godfather. When [Robert] De Niro was playing Brando, he wasn’t attempting to look or act like Marlon Brando. He was attempting to play the character. That’s what we talked about,” Lucas added to Collider. For Lucas to offer his best performance, he was even separated from Costner.

Over the years, Lucas has appeared in several popular and highly acclaimed films and television shows. He plays Craig McDermott in ‘American Psycho,’ Martin Hansen in ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ Glenn Talbot in ‘Hulk,’ Don Haskins in ‘Glory Road,’ Charles Lindbergh in ‘J. Edgar,’ and Dylan Tucker in ‘The Forever Purge.’ His television performances include Jake Broderick in ‘The Mysteries of Laura,’ and Mitch McDeere in ‘The Firm.’

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