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Kevin Costner Defends Against Backlash After Casting His Son In ‘Horizon’

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In the entertainment world, some last names pop up multiple times as one generation follows in the footsteps of their forebears. Kevin Costner has recently come under fire for recruiting his son, Hayes, in his new movie, Horizon: An American Saga, as opposed to industry veterans.

Costner is the father of six children across different relationships. Costner and his wife, Christine Baumgartner, share 13-year-old Hayes, as well as Cayden, 15, and daughter Grace, 12. He is also the father of sons Joe and Liam and daughters Annie and Lily from past relationships. Here is how Hayes fits into Costner’s upcoming four-part Western epic and his response to the strong criticism he’s received for bringing Hayes on board.

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Kevin Costner discusses his son Hayes being involved in ‘Horizon: An American Saga’

Kevin Costner cast his teenage son, Hayes, in his new Western epic, Horizon / © Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett Collection

Horizon is a four-part film series starring Costner in a script he wrote with Jon Baird, inspired by an original story authorized by Costner, Baird, and Mark Kasdan. Hayes will be playing a particularly meaningful role in the epic too.

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“He’s very good,” gushed Costner, “Hayes plays the namesake character that I actually play in the movie. He’s 13 years old and the screenplay’s been around longer than that.”

Recruiting Hayes, Costner admitted, had the special bonus of enabling more father-son bonding time. “I kind of did it on purpose, so he could be hanging out with me,” Costner confessed. “And the same thing for Cayden, same thing for Grace. I’m like any other parent, I’m trying to figure out, like, ‘This is really neat. You should come be with me.’”

The actor and father addressed nepotism concerns

He and his wife Christine Baumgartner share three children together / ImageCollect

Hayes does not have previous acting experience coming into this series, a fact that is often coupled with his direct relation to Costner, which has received ire from critics.

“He’s a beautiful boy, and he’s quiet,” said Costner, adding, “And I have not shoved my children into the business.”

Costner did go onto acknowledge, “I realize there are so many young actors out there that would just kill to be in this movie,” before assuring, “And I don’t want to take those parts away from them just cause I can place my own children in.” Hayes required half a month to film his part.

Hayes makes his acting debut in Horizon: An American Saga / Warner Bros. / YouTube via Yahoo! News

“But, in a sense, it was a smaller part,” Costner went on to confirm. “I selfishly wanted him with me for the week, two weeks, he was with me. And we would drive to the set every day and he would whisper.”

As for how Hayes did acting in front of the camera, Costner likes what he’s seen. “It’s a really complicated scene,” he shared. “In the end, there’s a nobility, there’s an absolute fatalness about it. It’s what you want in a son. It’s what you don’t want a son to do, and at the end of the day, you’re proud that he would make that choice.”

Should Hayes have been cast in Horizon: An American Saga starring his dad, Kevin Costner?

RELATED: Kevin Costner Questions Estranged Wife’s Claim That She ‘Felt Pressured’ to Sign Prenup

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