Kevin Costner: Horizon Star Says He Didn't 'shove' Son Hayes Into Hollywood | Old North State Wealth News
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Kevin Costner: Horizon star says he didn’t ‘shove’ son Hayes into Hollywood

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Hollywood has worked hard to shake off criticisms of nepotism within the industry—and while Oscar-winning actor Kevin Costner is aware that casting his 15-year-old son in an upcoming movie plays into that narrative, he confirmed he just wanted some bonding time with his kid.

Costner stars in and has directed Horizon, a Western epic hitting theaters in June. The cast includes the likes of Sienna Miller and Sam Worthington, but also Costner’s teenage son Hayes.

Speaking to the Today show this week, the Dances with Wolves star made it clear he was aware how casting his son could be interpreted. He said: “I have not shoved my children into the business. I realize there’s so many young actors out there that would just kill to be in this movie. And I don’t want to take those parts away from them just because I can place my own children in.

“But in this instance because it was a smaller part I selfishly wanted him with me for the week, two weeks he was with me. We would drive to the set every day and he would whisper, he didn’t have a lot of experience but he’s really beautiful in the movie.”

The junior Costner—who his father describes as a “beautiful boy”—joins a raft of other famous offspring who have entered the family business in their parents’ footsteps. Some, like singer Lenny Kravitz’s daughter Zoe, known for her roles in The Batman and Mad Max: Fury Road say it’s “completely normal“.

Others, such as Euphoria star Maude Apetow—daughter of actor Leslie Mann and director Judd Apetow—say they feel they have to work harder to earn their place among the Hollywood elite. Apetow told Variety in 2020: “I definitely get why people would be mad at me, but I will literally spend the rest of my life trying to prove myself and work twice as hard.”

Actor Ben Stiller—the son of actors/comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara—said the industry is a “meritocracy.” Following a back-and-forth with film producer Franklin Leonard—who highlighted a project featuring a raft of famous children—Stiller posted on X: “I would bet they all have faced challenges. Different than those with no access to the industry. Show biz as we all know is pretty rough, and ultimately is a meritocracy.”

Diversity problems

Despite increased scrutiny of the family trees creeping through Tinseltown, diversity in the industry hasn’t improved between 2002 and 2022, according to a study from USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The study published in August last year found there has been “no progress” for girls and women on screen and “limited progress” for protagonists of color on screen. The report also found 42% of LGBQT+ characters were underrepresented on film, with just 1.9% of all speaking characters depicted with a disability.

On the other hand, Costner could also be doing what millions of other American parents do on a regular basis: take their kids to work. Around 37 million people take part in ‘Take Your Kids to Work Day’, Forbes reports, to give youngsters an insight into the working world.

Hayes—who shares his name with the main character in the film—also isn’t the first Costner offspring to appear in one of their father’s movies, with his elder children appearing in minor roles in earlier works such as The Bodyguard and The Postman.

‘We’ll do our own thing’

Costner, 69, explained his other children (Annie, Lily, Joe, Liam, Cayden and Grace) also supported the making of Horizon—though in a different way.

That’s because the father—reportedly worth $250 million, per Celebrity Net Worth—remortgaged his own house to finance the movie, insisting he wouldn’t be “controlled” by the “pile” of assets he has amassed over time.

“I never thought I would have any money to begin with,” he said, adding that if he had to “risk” some of the things he loved it was worth it to bring something new to his audience.

“I’m going to keep enough so that I’m going to be okay the rest of my life, and my children will be, but if they want to make their pile grow bigger they can,” he continued. “All of them said to me: ‘Dad don’t worry about us. We’ll do our own thing, we just want you to be happy.’”

High schooler Hayes Costner echoed his father’s sentiment when discussing their work, telling People in an interview released yesterday that filming was “the greatest way that we could bond over something we both love and to create lasting memories together.”

The young Costner didn’t confirm whether or not he’d be committing to a career in acting, adding that his “favorite time” with his father is when the cameras stopped rolling and the Robin Hood star snapped back into “dad mode.”

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