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Actor Josh Lucas Divulges the ‘Nuclear Bomb’ of the Dutton Family in ‘Yellowstone’

Published on February 20th, 2023 | Updated on February 20th, 2023 | By FanFest

Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone is a deep emotional ride and Josh Lucas grasps it more profoundly than anyone else. By bringing John Dutton to life, Lucas has experienced both love and anguish at an overwhelming scale that affects everything surrounding him. Suffering ignites numerous of the actions taken by the Dutton family, many of which are triggered by one particular transcendent event.

Deemed a drama or neo-western, Yellowstone​ is an enthralling romance highlighted by alluring characters. The show’s family relationships and emotions are integral to the plot line created by Sheridan. Audiences can connect with this series through its ability to capture human experiences that we may not want but still relate to – such as sorrow of loss.

All of us are familiar with the pain of loss and for the Duttons, death is an unwelcome but regular visitor. One specific tragedy though seemed to cause a shift in their personalities as they developed into survivors of devastating heartache. We witness this transformation when we look at who these characters have become now – ones that have endured all that death can bring.

In a conversation with Den of Geek, Lucas divulged what caused the Dutton family such destruction that they became completely helpless for some time.

“I do think I try to ignore it. It doesn’t necessarily inform the way that I’m attempting to honor Kevin or even play John in a different phase of his life. I do think the weight of the death [of his wife, Evelyn] is so heavy on John at that point. I think it’s lightened up over the years, but I think, at the younger point in his life, he’s a broken man. I hope Taylor writes some stuff for Gretchen [Mol], me, or the family in that pre-death mode because I think it would be extraordinary to see them when they weren’t damaged. The damage of that death was a nuclear bomb to that family.”



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The passing of Evelyn Dutton is a monumental event for the Duttons, and what’s even more exciting is that we still have so much to uncover about her legacy. Lucas will be essential in helping us unravel these secrets.

Lucas breathes life into a version of John that is vastly different from Kevin Costner’s portrayal. As he transports us back in time, Lucas’ story of John Dutton provides the foundation for our understanding and connection to the character’s current timeline. Without his side of the narrative, it would be more difficult to comprehend and sympathize with this beloved figure we know today.

To further explain the changes in his character’s journey, Lucas credits much of it to conversations with showrunner Taylor Sheridan. His meaningful questions shaped their dialogue and helped him reach new depths in understanding the development of his character from where he was before to where he is now.

“So, we had really interesting conversations about who John Dutton was, 20-plus-years earlier. Was he lighter? Was he heavier? Was he angry? Was he gruffer? Has John Dutton, as he’s aged, become more gentle the way men often do? Or has he become bitter? I asked a lot of questions. I couldn’t just do what we did in the beginning because I felt I had all these episodes and the work that Kevin had done, and I wanted to bring a lot more complexity to it.

By acknowledging Costner’s standing in the Yellowverse, Lucas provides enthusiasts a peek into his life before all of the sorrowful heartbreak. It is certainly something to marvel over! Showing that he is as passionate about Yellowstone as we are, Lucas’ next statement will also be invaluable for fans due its highly resonating nature.

“The experience of playing [John] is incredibly layered. I dream about it. I dream about it probably once or twice a week. I dream about John Dutton, I dream about Yellowstone. I dream about Taylor. It’s fascinating to me, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.”

The Yellowverse has bewitched Lucas to the point that it lingers in his subconscious and fuels his dreams. His fascination is shared by many, as Yellowstone continues to capture people’s hearts and captivate their imaginations.

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