Kevin Costner as John Dutton on Yellowstone
Credit: ©Paramount Network/courtesy Eve

Kevin Costner’s deep, rough voice is synonymous with his cowboy persona on Yellowstone. But many fans are wondering if that’s the actor’s real voice or if he changes it specifically for the role. What happened to Kevin Costner’s voice? We have the answer below.

For five years, Costner has starred as John Dutton on Paramount’s hit Western series created by Taylor Sheridan. Although Yellowstone performed extremely well on TV and streaming platforms in 2022 and years prior, the show is officially ending in 2023. The last episodes of Season 5, part 2 will be released in November 2023, our sister site Variety reported in March 2023. Instead, the show will be replaced with a Yellowstone extension series starring Matthew McConaughey, which will premiere in December 2023. Although some of the cast is expected to move over to the spin-off, sources say that Kevin Costner will not.

Costner’s public drama with Yellowstone began when Variety reported that there were conflicts with Costner’s filming schedule. “The issue seems to be Costner’s shooting schedule, with Costner being available for fewer days as the show has progressed,” our sister publication reported. The actor’s lawyer, Marty Singer, told Puck.News that “The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of Season 5 of Yellowstone is an absolute lie,” he responded. Singer also called the allegations “ridiculous — and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second.”

Along with the negative press surrounding Yellowstone, the actor’s personal life found its way into the headlines as well. Costner’s wife, fashion designer Christine Baumgartner, filed for divorce from Costner on Monday, May 1, 2023, in Santa Barbara, California, according to documents obtained by Us Weekly. “It is with great sadness that circumstances beyond his control have transpired which have resulted in Mr. Costner having to participate in a dissolution of marriage action,” Costner’s representative said in a statement to People Magazine. “We ask that his, Christine’s, and their children’s privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time.

Costner and Baumgartner were engaged in 2003 and married in 2004 at Costner’s 165-acre ranch near Aspen, Colorado. They had three children together: Sons Cayden (age 15) and Hayes (age 14) and their daughter Grace (age 12). Kevin already had three children from his previous marriage of 16 years to Cindy Silva from 1978 to 1994, and his son Liam from his former relationship with Bridget Rooney.

The Yellowstone actor is currently busy directing and starring in the Western “epic” Horizon, a four-part feature film picked up by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema. Horizon has a demanding shooting schedule of 220 days, which could be contributing to the actor’s tight schedule. Costner told Variety last year that it could take eight months to shoot the multi-film project. The first part started shooting in the fall of 2022, while filming for the subsequent three films will take place in April 2023 “with the trio of titles shooting at the same time.” The source said that Costner had been obsessed with filming Horizon and Christine “wasn’t happy about it.”

Now, back to Kevin Costner’s voice on Yellowstone. What happened to the actor’s real voice and was it always like that? Keep reading to find out.

What happened to Kevin Costner’s voice?

"Yellowstone," Kevin Costner

What happened to Kevin Costner’s voice? When acting in Yellowstone, Costner changes his voice so it sounds like old Western characters, including his character, John Dutton, the patriarch of the Dutton Family. Some Reddit users speculated that Costner derived inspiration from Clint Eastwood’s character in The Man with No Name, while others compared his Yellowstone voice to Christian Bale’s Batman impression. Hear a clip of Kevin Costner’s raspy and deep “cowboy” voice below.


As for the actor’s real voice inspiration for Yellowstone, Costner said that he’s been a big fan of Spencer Tracy in 1962’s How the West Was Won. “Well, I could tell you the first time I ever heard narration in my life. It was probably 1962, I was seven-year-old, and I went to see the movie How the West Was Won and it was a four-hour long movie,” he explained to Outsider in November 2020. “I didn’t move, I was thrilled by the whole story, and the first voice I heard come up was Spencer Tracy, and he was talking about the map of America, and he said, ‘long before there were roads, before there were all these markers that designated states, it was just rivers. It was just mountains.’”

The actor said that Spencer Tracy’s voice appealed to him, especially for the Western cowboy he plays in Yellowstone. “As a seven-year-old, the idea of that, yeah, before all these cities, these were places untouched. It was like the Garden of Eden, if you will, and that voice was Spencer Tracy, so I guess– he was a legendary actor. A voice all his own, so I guess if there was going to be a voice, it would be Spencer.”

When promoting the movie, The Art Of Racing In The Rain where he voiced Enzo The Dog, Costner admitted that he hates his voice to Good Morning America. “I had to think about it [taking the role] because I didn’t like my voice and I thought, ‘You need to get somebody else to play Enzo – maybe get an Italian…’,” Hollywood.com reported. “That’s why (as an actor) you’re trying to invent voices all the time – because you don’t like your own.”

Want to hear what Kevin Costner’s voice sounds like in real-life? Here’s a clip of the actor speaking in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel Live! in June 2019.


You can watch Yellowstone on the Paramount Network, which is available to stream on services including Fubo TV, Philo TV, and Hulu+ With Live TV. The first four seasons of Yellowstone are also available to stream on Peacock.

What are the Yellowstone cast salaries? Check out our gallery below to see how much each actor makes per episode of Yellowstone!