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Luke Wilson Says Making New 'Epic Western' with Kevin Costner 'Inspired' Him: I 'Learned So Much' (Exclusive)

Wilson, who is teaming up with Miller Lite for the revival of its iconic All Stars campaign, tells PEOPLE it was "inspiring" to see Costner in action

<p>Rebecca Sapp/Getty, Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> (L-R) Luke Wilson and Kevin Costner.

Rebecca Sapp/Getty, Kevin Mazur/Getty

(L-R) Luke Wilson and Kevin Costner.

For Luke Wilson, getting to work alongside Kevin Costner was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Costner, 69, stars in, produced and directed an epic two-part American Western, titled Horizon: An American Saga, debuting later this year. It's set to chronicle 15 years of pre- and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American West.

Wilson, 52, helps round out the cast alongside Sam WorthingtonJena Malone, Abbey Lee, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Isabelle FuhrmanJeff FaheyWill Patton, Tatanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Ella Hunt and Jamie Campbell Bower.

"It was unbelievable," Wilson tells PEOPLE of his experience working on the Yellowstone alum's film, while promoting his new partnership with Miller Lite for its revived All Stars campaign. "It was unbelievable getting hired by him and then, getting the chance to work with him."

"I spent a year working on the first two movies, which my character's in," he continues. "It is truly an epic Western where it just follows these different stories of the military and the Indians and then, the pioneers headed west, and I'm part of this wagon train."

Related: Kevin Costner Teases His New Western 'Horizon': 'Haven't Felt This Way' Since 'Dances with Wolves'

With Chapter 1 due on June 28 and Chapter 2 to follow on Aug. 16, the Old School star teases that it's "really just great, quality filmmaking" as he praises Costner's efforts.

"For me to get to work with Kevin Costner, I've just never had that kind of experience. There are people I've gotten to work with a lot from the era. I've got to work with Nick Nolte and James Caan and Gene Hackman, those iconic '70s guys that were so incredible that my dad loved," he says. "But then, for me, I can remember where I was when I saw Fandango. I can remember the theater I was in with my first girlfriend when I saw The Untouchables and Revenge," he continues. "[Kevin] was one of those people I realized if he was in it, I would go see it, everything he made. I just was a really big fan."

Wilson's admiration for Costner and his work ethic proved to be a distraction for him "the first couple times" they were on set together. "We were face-to-face, he'd say, 'You got it?' And I'd think, 'I didn't hear anything he just said.' I was just staring. I was just looking at him," he recalls.

"I'd think, 'I didn't hear anything he just said.' I was just staring. I was just looking at him," he explains. "He really inspired me and I feel, like, kicked me into gear in a good way in terms of my work and how I approach it. I've always had a good work ethic, but then to see how hard he worked and how dedicated he is at age 68, it was really, really inspiring."

Related: That's Kevin Costner's Son Hayes, 15, Making His Acting Debut in the Horizon: An American Saga Trailer

"It was just really exciting. I just learned so much from Kev," he adds. "It really inspired me to get to work on projects that I'm interested in, personally, and not to just sit around and wait for things to come my way."

Among the projects of interest on his slate is his new Miller Lite All Stars campaign, featuring legendary athletes like David "Big Papi" Ortiz, Jorge Posada, JJ Watt, Reggie Miller and Mia Hamm. The ad is a revival of the Molson Coors-branded beverage's 1970s campaign, where stars like Tom Madden and Rodney Dangerfield debated: "What's the best thing about Miller Lite? Great Taste or Less Filling?"

Wilson notes that it "was great" getting to work on such a fun project.

"They somehow settled on me as a good person to play this Bob Uecker-type part of the guy who's like the mediator between the great taste faction and the less filling faction," he shares. "I grew up on the ads. When you're younger, it's not like, 'Oh, here's a commercial.' There were ads you enjoyed because somehow, like now, learning more about great advertising and campaigns and the people behind them and how sharp and funny they are, and then getting the great personalities involved, they're like little movies. That's what I like about them."

Related: Michael Jordan's Tequila, The Rolling Stone's New Rum, Plus More Stars in the Alcohol Business

Being a part of the campaign meant that much more to Wilson, as both a lifelong fan of Miller Lite and the son of a longtime Red Sox fan.

"At a certain point, I was looking over at David Ortiz, [a.k.a.] Big Papi, Jorge Posada and thinking, my dad was such a huge Red Sox fan," the native Texan recalls of his dad, Robert. "So, to think about doing it with an iconic Red Sox player, it was incredible. I'm a fan of him as a player and also just him as a commentator."

<p>Courtesy of Miller Lite</p> Miller Lite All Stars campaign promo.

Courtesy of Miller Lite

Miller Lite All Stars campaign promo.

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Of Miller Lite, specifically, the Legally Blonde actor says it's "just a brand I've grown up with."

"You know, the way there are those brands that kind of become a part of the fabric of your life, and you wonder how that happens with certain products in America? Part of this one is because of those commercials, where there is a real sense of humor and goodwill created around Miller Lite, because of these ads, in which it's probably a pretty hard thing to do," he adds. "But that's why the advertising's so great and clever is because you think, 'Miller Lite. Yeah, that's a great beer.'"

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