Kevin Costner tears up during 10-minute standing ovation for new film Horizon at Cannes

Kevin Costner was moved to tears by the reaction to his new film Horizon: An American Saga, which has been 35 years in the making.

The Yellowstone actor, 69, received a 10-minute standing ovation for Horizon after its premiere at Cannes Film Festival on Sunday (May 19). The film is a four-part Western drama, which spans a 15-year period pre and post the American Civil War.

In an emotional speech, Costner said he would “never forget” the audience’s reaction to his long-awaited film and thanked those in attendance for giving him their “precious time”.

Costner, who co-wrote, directed and stars in Horizon, called the standing ovation “such a good moment, not just for me, but for the actors who came with me, for people who believed in me, who continued to work”.

Sienna Miller (Layer Cake), Jamie Campbell Bower (Stranger Things), Ella Hunt (Anna and the Apocalypse), Sam Worthington (Avatar), Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan), and Jena Malone (Love Lies Bleeding) are among the stars who committed to Costner’s mammoth project.

Costner attended the premiere with five of his seven children: Annie, 40, Cayden, 17, Grace, 13, Lily, 37, and Hayes, 15 – who makes his acting debut in Horizon.

“I’ll never forget this,” Costner said. “Neither will my children. They all look so beautiful, dressed up so nice, the women, the men. They’re so handsome.”

Kevin Costner at Cannes Film Festival with his children Annie, Hayes, Kevin, Cayden, Grace and Lily for the ‘Horizon’ premiere (Getty Images)
Kevin Costner at Cannes Film Festival with his children Annie, Hayes, Kevin, Cayden, Grace and Lily for the ‘Horizon’ premiere (Getty Images)

The actor said he hoped viewers would share Horizon with their “sweethearts” and “children” to give the film an extended life.

“I made this. It’s not mine anymore. It’s yours,” he said. “I knew that the minute this was over and that’s what it should be. I think movies aren’t about their opening weekends. They’re about their life and about how many times you’re willing to share it.”

With tears in his eyes, Costner described Horizon as a “miracle” in his life. “Thank you so much for giving me your precious time. I hope that this time was worth it for you. Thank you,” he said.

The premiere comes amid rumours that Costner’s passion project had been the reason he walked away from Yellowstone, after dramatically quitting the show last year with seasons to go.

Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ (Paramount)
Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ (Paramount)

Speaking to Deadline, the actor disputed claims that Horizon caused the demise of Yellowstone, alleging that filming for his movie had been scheduled on his days off from the show.

“I fit it into the gaps,” he said. “They just kept moving their gaps.”

The John Dutton star said he made Yellowstone “first priority” whereas the production team were “doing a tap dance”. He said that Horizon was never intended to “compete” with the series.

Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ (Paramount)
Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ (Paramount)

The actor claimed he even left filming for his movie for a “whole month” in order to shoot a season of Yellowstone. When he arrived on set, however, he said that there was “no script” and “things imploded”.

“I’ve never missed a day of work. I’ve never left before fulfilling my contractual obligations,” he said.

Despite the fallout, Costner revealed surprising hopes to return to the show. “I’m very open to coming back,” he said.

“I took a beating over these guys not speaking up for me and allowing crazy stories to come out. I’m not happy about that. But if the writing is there, I will be, too.”