2.Yellowstone

How The Yellowstone Stars Really Behave On The Set

When “Yellowstone” debuted back in the summer of 2018, it did so with a cast of characters as distinctive as any on the airwaves. That colorful crew of salty ranchers, dodgy developers, and opportunistic politicos have stood in stark contrast to the endless parade of doctors, lawyers, and first responders that dominate the modern television landscape. Over the ensuing seasons, “Yellowstone” mastermind Taylor Sheridan has continued to populate his Big Sky melodrama with dastardly sorts that could make even the worst of small-screen villains blush.

Those characters are, of course, portrayed by an all-star ensemble that would be the envy of any production in Hollywood. As it stands, “Yellowstone” fans simply cannot get enough of watching the cast get down, dusty, and frequently bloody in a world where loyalties shift by the second. And to tune in to an episode of “Yellowstone” is to understand that the cast positively revels in the chance to explore their character’s morally flexible, often reprehensible behavior.

Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like the members of the “Yellowstone” players behave much like their characters when they’re at work. In fact, despite their frequent on-camera clashes, most of the cast claims they get on exceedingly well on the set of the series.

Kelly Reilly is the picture of calm on set

That is obviously great news for any actor sharing the screen with Kelly Reilly, because it would surely be difficult to get through a scene if she were anything like the “Yellowstone” powder keg known as Beth Dutton. Beth has undoubtedly become one of the best-loved characters in the entire series, in large part due to her feisty nature and her absolute unwillingness to back down from a fight. But if you’ve seen Reilly in interviews, you know the British actor is a far gentler subject than her fiery “Yellowstone” character.

It should delight fans to know Reilly’s most frequent scene partner, Cole Hauser, claims she’s beyond great to work with too. Hauser admitted as much during a 2021 interview with CinemaBlend, stating the pair’s on-set relationship is one of the best he’s ever had. “She’s one of my favorite actresses I’ve ever worked with,” Hauser said, continuing, “and working with her on this relationship has just been so much fun.”

Hauser’s sentiments were more than backed up by Jamie Dutton actor Wes Bentley, who stated in the same CinemaBlend chat, “She is one of the sweetest people and sweetest actors.” He added, “We’re very close; we trust each other. That’s how we get those things done.” He also, understandably, added that Reilly can be pretty intimidating when she’s in full Beth mode.

Cole Hauser is a dream partner on the Yellowstone set

As any “Yellowstone” fan can attest to, Beth Dutton’s on-again, off-again, and back-on-forever relationship with devoted Dutton Ranch foreman Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) has long ranked as one of the series’ most rewarding. So Beth and Rip fans should delight in hearing Hauser gush over sharing scenes with Kelly Reilly.

It should hardly come as a surprise to learn that Reilly feels pretty much the same about working with Hauser on the set of “Yellowstone.” She talked candidly about their working relationship during an exclusive 2021 interview with Looper, stating, “Cole’s my buddy. We’re such good friends. And, honestly, we’re so lucky to have found each other.” The actor went on to offer that she and Hauser are extremely protective of both their characters and their on-set relationship, adding, “We don’t take it for granted. And we support each other and have fun.”

Jefferson White — who plays Jimmy Hurdstrom on “Yellowstone” — is another in the series’ ensemble who relishes the chance to work with Hauser. He told Us Weekly during a 2022 interview that the actor is apparently quite the cut-up when the cameras aren’t rolling, and noted that he’s also a great leader on the set. Still, White went on to admit Hauser can be pretty intimidating when working, hilariously admitting, “He’s probably the scariest person on set for me.”

Wes Bentley’s co-stars have nothing but kind words to say about him

Over the first four-and-a-half seasons of “Yellowstone,” few characters have proven quite as infuriatingly duplicitous as Wes Bentley’s brilliant but troubled Dutton black sheep Jamie. Heck, even Bentley admitted during a 2022 chat with Express that he sometimes has trouble carrying the character’s heavy emotional baggage.

Said trouble apparently does not fuel any bad behavior on the set of “Yellowstone,” however. During a 2022 interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, the actor’s co-star Kelsey Asbille went so far as to praise the heavens that Bentley is nothing at all like his on-screen persona, noting, “Wes is a master. Jamie is not an easy role, by any means. He’s incredible and really kind and nothing like his character, thank God.”

It should be noted that Asbille’s character Monica Dutton has not shared much screen time with Bentley’s Jamie. Thankfully, Bentley’s more regular scene partner, Kelly Reilly, has long championed his on-set behavior too, confirming to Express that she’s enjoyed working with him from day one. “Wes and I have a lot of fun with our scenes, and we get on very well,” she said, adding, “There was a lot of mutual respect for one another.” Reilly went on to say they work so well together that they rarely talk through scenes before shooting them anymore — which is a high compliment an actor can earn on set.

Luke Grimes is a joy to work with, according to his Yellowstone wife

It says a lot about Luke Grimes that he arguably plays the most emotionally complex character in the “Yellowstone” landscape. But after multiple seasons of emotionally wrenching plot lines, one could easily make the case that Grimes has been through the wringer more than most in portraying youngest Dutton sibling Kayce. And it’s even easier to argue Grimes has traversed the relentless peaks and valleys of Kayce’s tumultuous life on and off the ranch with a tragically optimistic sort of grace.

To date, Grimes has endured the bulk of Kayce’s darker times alongside his on-screen wife Kelsey Asbille, who’s portrayed Monica Dutton since the pilot episode of “Yellowstone.” Given how much time the actors are required to spend together on set, and how heavy their respective storylines have gotten of late, one would have to assume Grimes and Asbille have a pretty solid professional relationship. And if you’ve ever seen them giggling through an interview together, you know that appears to be the case off the set as well.

Not surprisingly, during an exclusive 2022 interview with Looper, Asbille confirmed that she and Grimes are indeed just as comfortable on the set of the hit Western series too. And of her working relationship with Grimes, Asbille couldn’t help but gush. “There’s so much trust and comfort there,” she said, before adding, “It’s a wonderful partnership.”

Grimes enjoys heading to set with Kelsey Asbille as well

Monica Dutton and Kayce Dutton truly have endured a long string of hard times on “Yellowstone.” So it may be surprising to learn that Kelsey Asbille and Luke Grimes are apparently quite the clowns when they’re on set. But as Asbille stated during that 2022 interview with Looper, their working relationship has actually fueled loads of laughs. It apparently even spawned a running joke between the actors that Asbille deemed too inappropriate to share on the record.

During the same interview, Grimes resoundingly confirmed Asbille’s assertions about keeping things light on set, though he admits he doesn’t feel much pressure to do so given the character’s frequently heavy story arcs. “It’s always easy with those two,” he started, going on to say, “I feel like we don’t have to try to keep it light, and that’s been great.” Grimes later noted, “Neither one of us take ourselves very seriously, although we take our work really seriously.”

During a 2022 Vanity Fair spot in which certain “Yellowstone” cast members were tested as to how well they know each other on and off set, Grimes took things a step further in his praise of Asbille, boasting in no uncertain terms, “Kelsey is perfect on set.” Even if he seemed to say it half in jest, you can still see the statement comes from a place of sincere admiration.

Gil Birmingham has been called an inspiration to work with

One of the things that sets “Yellowstone” apart from many of its small screen contemporaries is the fact that it focuses considerable narrative energy on the troubles of indigenous peoples, who called the vast expanses of Big Sky country home before being forced onto reservations. Opinions vary regarding how successful the show is in that endeavor, but few could argue Taylor Sheridan wasn’t wise to present part of the story through the steely eyes of Broken Rock Reservation Chief Thomas Rainwater.

The tribal boss is played by venerated character actor Gil Birmingham. As “Yellowstone” fandom can confirm, Rainwater’s trials on the series to date have been nothing short of epic. Rainwater is regularly aided by right-hand man Mo Brings Plenty, who watches the Chief’s back both on and off the res. Mo is portrayed by an actor who happens to share the same name, Mo Brings Plenty. And according to real-world Mo, Birmingham is an absolute “inspiration” on set.

That is the exact word Mo used to describe Gil Birmingham during a recent chat with Express, telling the publication, “You know, Gil is a brother. I love him like a brother, I really do.” He added, “He has been an inspiration,” before noting his admiration dates back several years. And in a testament to their working relationship, Mo openly stated he’d love to act alongside Birmingham again after “Yellowstone” ends.

Few could question Jefferson White’s dedication to Yellowstone

While “Yellowstone” seems to have no shortage of fan-favorite characters, many of the most beloved have called the Dutton Ranch bunkhouse home over the years. And it’s safe to say that diehard fans might be quick to slot in the endearingly dimwitted Jimmy Hurdstrom near the top of any “best of the bunkhouse” ranking.

Despite his move to Texas, Jimmy’s impact on the “Yellowstone” landscape cannot be overstated. Ditto for rising star Jefferson White, who’s portrayed the affable cowboy for the bulk of the series’ run. In claiming the role, however, White may have inadvertently signed up to endure mildly undignified travails that, when tallied up, serve as undeniable proof of his dedication to the series.

As giddily recounted by Cole Hauser to Entertainment Tonight, the first of White’s indignities occurred before he ever set foot on the “Yellowstone” set, with the actor reportedly suffering from a brutal case of saddle sore during the pre-shoot “cowboy camp.” As White recalled in a hilarious “Stories From the Bunkhouse” clip, his trials continued when the cameras were rolling as the actor has regularly been tested during, shall we say, “tricky” scenes with both his human and animal co-stars. And in discussing Jimmy’s more low-key Season 4 arc, even White’s regular on-set partner Denim Richards admitted with no shortage of respect, “You earned it.”

Forrie J Smith is a blast on the set of Yellowstone

It’s well known that most cowboys on “Yellowstone” are actors. But some of the main players were riding and roping long before joining the cast. Forrie J. Smith is one of the series’ most legit real-world cowboys. Watching the actor portray the grizzled but kind-hearted cowboy Lloyd Pierce, it’s clear he’s likely leveraging a lifetime’s worth of hard-earned grit in service of his performance.

Lloyd has been the right-hand man of Rip Wheeler off and on for much of his “Yellowstone” tenure. As such, Smith has shot many of his best scenes with Cole Hauser, who laughingly told IMDb during a 2022 interview that he’s always happy to have a scene with Smith — especially scenes where the veteran actor is running, as Hauser claimed the sight is the funniest thing you’ll see on set. “Watching Forrie J. Smith run,” Hauser offered after being prompted on the subject, quickly adding, “It’s one of the greatest gaits of all time.”

In a separate 2022 chat with Entertainment Tonight, Hauser went on to show Smith some genuine adoration, stating of his co-star, “I love the kid.” Warm fuzzies aside, Hauser also lovingly quipped that he sometimes gets annoyed by the older actor’s on-set complaining, even as he marveled that the aging Smith still does most of his own stunt work.

Jen Landon has earned big love from numerous co-stars

It feels like she’s been around since the earliest days of “Yellowstone,” but everybody’s favorite mush-mouthed ranch hand, Teeter, didn’t actually turn up at the Dutton Ranch until Season 3. The character became an instant fan favorite, however, with viewers hanging on every gloriously unintelligible word the tough-talking, pink-haired cowboy utters.

The character is portrayed by Jen Landon, who thankfully sheds Teeter’s almost impenetrable Southern drawl for interviews. If you watched her recent sitdown with “Yellowstone” co-stars (and fellow bunkhouse boys) Ian Bohen, Denim Richards, and Jefferson White, it’s obvious they’re all pretty much in awe of what she brings both to the character and to the set. Bohen in particular marveled at Landon’s skill, stating blatantly, “You are like a chameleon. You are a brilliant actor,” before prompting her to show off her impressive flair for accents not of the Texarkana variety.

Richards quickly chimed in to add, “This is what we get all the time. This is what makes Jen amazing.” Despite not sharing many scenes together, it seems Kelly Reilly is also a big fan of Landon’s work on the show, popping in to comment on one of the actor’s Instagram posts to say, “I love you.” It really does not get much better than earning such praise from the high priestess of “Yellowstone” herself.

Ryan Bingham’s castmates love his musical contributions

Though most Dutton Ranch hands received Teeter with open arms, the same is not true of another mononymous bunkhouse addition, Walker. The free-wheeling cowboy hooked up with the Dutton Ranch outfit fresh off a prison stint in Season 1, and fast became a thorn in the side of not only Rip Wheeler, but several of his bunkhouse mates. Thankfully, Ryan Bingham is a bit more universally loved by his castmates, and not just the one he’s begun sharing his personal life with.

Bingham is, of course, an award-winning singer and songwriter when he’s not acting. And as his co-stars claimed during a 2020 “Stories From the Bunkhouse” segment, Bingham’s musical contributions to the “Yellowstone” set are always welcome. “He’s playing [music] constantly. Which is great,” Ian Bohen said, later adding, “Everyone stops what they’re doing … and just listens to it. It’s a dream.” As Jefferson White noted, Bingham has also earned the respect of the cast for being a first-rate cowboy to boot.

Seems Forrie J. Smith is also a big fan, telling Outsider in 2021 that it was difficult to fake the bitter hatred between their respective characters. “I love the guy,” Smith said, further noting, “There were times when I had to imagine him as someone else to be able to put that anger towards him.” And all we can say to that is: aww.

Ian Bohen’s professionalism helped ease his co-star’s nerves

If Walker is the bunkhouse boy that “Yellowstone” fans love to hate, Ian Bohen’s Ryan is the one they love to love. So much so that fans have been clamoring for Ryan to get a bump in screen time pretty much since the pilot episode. Taylor Sheridan finally acquiesced in the first half of “Yellowstone” Season 5, bumping the character’s narrative presence considerably via a most welcome romantic subplot.

It was country crooner Abby who won the heart of the beloved Ryan after a rodeo meet-cute. And it was real-life singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson stepping up to play that role. It’s well-known that “Yellowstone” is her first acting gig, with Wilson telling Taste of Country during a 2022 interview that she was quite nervous about Ryan and Abby’s kissing scenes. “He [Bohen] clearly knew this was my first rodeo and I knew it was not his,” Wilson said, stating she laid out several ground rules for her co-star ahead of the big moment.

According to Wilson, Bohen didn’t flinch at a single one of them, reportedly telling her he was on board with “whatever makes you feel comfortable.” Seems that goal was achieved, with Wilson claiming once they were on set, “[Bohen] made me so comfortable … it wasn’t like a real-life kiss.” And that is a glowing testament to Bohen’s professional decorum if ever there was one.

Kevin Costner’s co-stars generally have a lot of love for him

On the set of “Yellowstone,” there is no bigger star than Kevin Costner. And for the first four-and-a-half seasons of the show, the legendary actor has not only wowed as the stoic yet fiery John Dutton, but earned the on-set adoration of his castmates in doing so.

Over the years, almost all of Costner’s co-stars have commented on his professionalism and dedication on the series’ set. That includes Luke Grimes, who told Good Housekeeping in 2022 that the star’s grounded charm is genuinely disarming. “He does a really good job of taking the pressure off what a huge icon he is,” he said, adding that he’s been soaking up as much knowledge from the icon as he can. Gil Birmingham also praised Costner as a gifted actor and on-set leader to The News, claiming, “I think he’s a mentor to everyone on our set … We all learn something every day with him.”

But as various behind-the-scenes dramas have played out between Costner and “Yellowstone” producers, even some of his castmates were allegedly upset with the way the actor has handled things. According to a report published by Puck, some were particularly frustrated with Costner’s scheduling demands. While no names are named, one can only imagine they’re even more dismayed now as the battle has reportedly played into the series’ unplanned, and potentially truncated end.

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