‘Yellowstone’ actor Neal McDonough reflects on hooking up with Kevin Costner, his commitment to faith: ‘God first’

As Neal McDonough traveled through Hollywood, he refused to give up on one thing – his faith in God.

In 2010, the former “Desperate Housewives” star said she was fired for three days of filming ABC’s “Scoundrels” because she did not agree to on-screen sex scenes. Although the show only lasted one season, the 56-year-old said he felt blacklisted in the industry.

As McDonough struggled, he always felt God had a better plan for him. After a “tough couple of years” trying to find work, he got a call from screenwriter Graham Yost and offered him a role in the film “Justified.” Since then, McDonough has been busy pursuing his love of acting.

Neal McDonough, a devout Catholic, played Nicolette Sheridan’s husband on Desperate Housewives. McDonough had a no-kissing rule that prompted show creator Mark Cherry to get creative with her writing.
(Ron Tom/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Over the years, McDonough has remained true to his deep devotion to God. He always strives to implement a project that honors family traditions. He is currently narrating O Holy Night: Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir. The TV special took first place. 1 holiday program staple on PBS for 17 years since first airing in 2004.


“I think I had a strong relationship with God at a very young age,” McDonough said. “Everybody knows that was the most important thing in my life. Look, we all make mistakes. We’re all flawed, we’re all human. And that’s what makes us beautiful.”

“You know, especially in the movies [my wife] Ruve and I have produced and … produced over the last few years, they talk about it,” he said.[They] Talk about what it’s like to challenge your faith or how you can overcome certain challenges in life knowing that God has your back. And it’s shows like Oh Holy Night that reinforce that family is the most important thing on the planet. There’s nothing like family.”

Neil McDonough is the proud father of five children.

Neil McDonough is the proud father of five children.
(Photo by Alberto Rodriguez/GA/Getty Images via The Hollywood Reporter)

The father of five only flourished after the film “Justified”. However, when he was invited to participate in a special event dedicated to the upcoming holiday, it was a no-brainer for him.

“There are a few times in my life when I talk about things that are really important to me, and that’s my relationship with God and my family,” McDonough explained. “… For me, it’s family first, me second. God first, me second. And if you follow these rules, things will be a lot easier. You won’t be so tempted to do stupid things… We all make mistakes every now and then. One day. But how we get up the next day and how we dust ourselves off determines what kind of person you are. Our relationship with God at home is extremely important.”


“… We deal with so many things, especially during the holiday season … it can be a very emotional time,” she reflected. “But when you have something basic to lean on, whether it’s your immediate family or our heavenly father, that’s how you get through things in life. And to me, that’s really important … it’s about family and it’s about love.”

Neil McDonough says he and his “Yellowstone” co-star Kevin Costner bonded over a love of family on set.
(Photo by Richard Bord/Getty Images for Cannes Lions)

Most recently, McDonough appeared in the popular Western drama Yellowstone with Kevin Costner. However, this is not the first time that McDonough has worked closely with a fellow actor. He starred with the 67-year-old in the 2006 film The Guardian.

“We were both college baseball players, [so] At lunch, we’d take kicking practice, hit balls and talk about life,” McDonough said. “I got to know Kevin really well during that movie. And then when I got Yellowstone, it was really cool to see him again.”

According to McDonough, the couple is attached to Yellowstone for their families. The Oscar winner is a proud father of seven children.


Neal McDonough married Ruve Robertson, a former South African model, in 2003.

Neal McDonough married Ruve Robertson, a former South African model, in 2003.
(Photo by Araya Doheny/FilmMagic)

“We’re very similar in many ways,” McDonough said. “As I’ve said to a lot of people, when you’re talking about an all-time pound-for-pound champion, you have to put Kevin Costner first. I’ve been saying it forever, he’s one of those actors. [who] really listens to the other actors and what is happening on stage. He does his homework. He knows everyone’s lines, not just his own. And he is so ready that he is always there to win. And I love that mentality. Kevin Costner is one of the greatest in our business. But most importantly, he is just a wonderful family and a wonderful father. He is proud of it.”

In Yellowstone, McDonough played Malcolm Beck, a shady businessman who was mortally wounded in a confrontation with John Dutton. [Costner]. However, McDonough teased that his time on the series may not be completely over. As he pointed out earlier, we’ve never seen a villain close his eyes when he dies.

“Malcolm Beck is definitely not dead,” McDonough declared. “If we did, there was a lot of discussion about how you could get Malcolm back. You know… I don’t watch any of the things I do because it always feels weird to me. That’s why. “Malcolm I don’t want to watch Beck, I think he’ll scare me if I see him on screen. I can’t imagine what it will be like when Malcolm Beck returns…and [gets] revenge on the entire Dutton family. I think it would make great television, but we’ll see.”

Neil McDonough has teased that his Yellowstone character Malcolm Beck isn’t dead after all.
(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land)

McDonough says there’s only one person who can make that Christmas wish come true – “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan.


“Taylor is a very busy man right now,” she said. “And you know [my wife] and I’m so busy with our films that I’m not sure we’ll have time to do it. But I’d definitely love to do it – I’d love to get back in the saddle again against Kevin.”

O Holy Night: Christmas with Tabernacle Choir will be available to stream Dec. 18 on the BYUtv app and BYUtv.org.

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