VENUS, Texas — Kevin Costner graced TV screens across America on November 13 as the fifth season of “Yellowstone” aired. On November 15, he was in a small town in north Texas and was throwing a soccer ball around during a break in filming.
Crews and cast from Paramount Network were in town all Tuesday filming for a future episode of “Yellowstone.”
Rio Vista’s Dewayne Good was among hundreds trying to catch a glimpse of one of the show’s stars.
“Beth,” Good said, laughing when asked who he was hoping to see. “She’s just badass. But no, I like them all.”
After anxiously waiting all morning, viewers’ hopes were fulfilled when Costner, Gil Birmingham, Moses Brings Plenty and others took the stage – literally.
The scene, which Paramount filmed, starred Costner as Governor John Dutton delivering a speech in Hardin, Montana.
On Friday, November 11, crews began moving into Montana vehicles and other equipment needed for filming. They worked almost all weekend, transforming the facades of the buildings around the town square.
“It’s kind of chilly weather like Montana, so I think it fits,” Burgess said Tuesday morning. “It would have been quite difficult if it was still 90 degrees.”
Costner greeted fans as he emerged from his movie trailer. He even took the time to toss the pigskin around while the cops worked on crowd control in the breaks between takes.
Security around the square was tight as more and more people showed up.
Mayor James Burgess had to throw away the mayor card to get onto the square.
“They didn’t really want to let me in,” he said, laughing. “I told them I’m not going to stand in their way, I just want to come here and experience it and be a part of it.”
How did the producers find Venus?
“[Paramount has] an advance team going out and scouting locations,” he said. “They came and looked at Venus and said they felt it would fit their scene.”
About a month ago, city officials received word that Venus had been chosen for the filming.
“It’s just a one-day shoot, while some of the previous ones took three, four days or weeks,” Burgess said. “I really don’t expect this to be an important part of the episode it’s in, but it’s exciting and brings a lot of attention to our small, historic town.”
This isn’t the first time the city of Venus has appeared on the big screen.
“When I was a kid we had ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty,” Burgess said. “They dressed up my uncle’s building as a grocery store and he got to play the person who robbed Clyde.”
“The Trip to Bountiful”, “Born on the Fourth of July”, episodes of “Walker, Texas Ranger” and several commercials and music videos were also filmed on the plaza.
Many film companies like the city’s old, rustic look, Burgess said.
Burgess said downtown business owners seem excited about the shooting, even though it may disrupt their normal operations for a day or so.
“A lot of people don’t even know that Venus exists, and those who do, pass by on the freeway and never come out here and see historic Venus,” Burgess said. “Sometimes there are cities that just die downtown because of traffic driving past them. That’s why I like “Yellowstone”. It’s so popular it sparks such interest and having ‘Yellowstone’ here brings awareness to our city.”
A lifelong resident of Venus, Burgess served on the city council for 10 years and is in his 10th year as mayor.
“I graduated here in 1975 when we were still playing six-man football,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of changes. When I graduated high school, we had 419 people. Now we’re at 6,000 and they’re forecast to be between 12 and 15,000 over the next five years, depending on economic conditions.”