Beth DuttonKelly ReillyYellowstone

Yellowstone: Kelly Reilly’s Character Relates To Real-Life Issues

The star of the hit Paramount Plus series reveals that Beth is ‘probably the most fascinating character I’ve ever played.’ The neo-Western drama, Yellowstone, is one of the most popular series on Paramount Plus, thanks partly to Kelly Reilly’s portrayal of Beth Dutton, one of the show’s key players. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Reilly explores the character, talking about her respect for showrunner Taylor Sheridan’s writing:

“I have the luxury of saying Taylor Sheridan’s words, which are weapons — sometimes they’re prayers, and sometimes they’re screams… It’s hard to explain Beth or sum her up. I could talk about her for hours. She’s probably the most fascinating character I’ve ever played. In my brain, she certainly takes up a lot of space.”

Reilly says that she didn’t immediately ‘access’ the character, though. With such a complicated backstory and psyche, it would’ve been impossible to understand Beth Dutton on day one, even for a seasoned actress. Reilly revealed just how much preparation it took before filming even began:

“It took me a long time to access her and fully understand her… Many hours back in season one before we started filming, I would just be on the phone with Taylor listening to him. I have probably three notebooks full of notes about his vision of her and her history.”

Beth Dutton is the daughter of John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner, a wealthy ranch owner and now governor of Montana. Beth is fiercely loyal to her father, serving as the financier of the Dutton clan, but has a strained relationship with her brother Jaime, played by Wes Bentley. Their relationship came to a head in Sunday’s episode when the two got into an altercation over their complicated past.

Kelly Reilly Opens Up About Her Yellowstone Character Beth Dutton

A large part of Beth Dutton’s character is the pain and anger over how her brother Jaime had taken her to get a hysterectomy without her consent when she was a teen. “That’s the burden of the character, right there. It’s painful,” Reilly says. She also spoke about the parallels between Beth Dutton and real-world issues, highlighting how forced hysterectomies were unfortunately all too common for Native women:

“The tragedy for me in this story is that in the reservations, hysterectomies were carried out with young Native girls and women who were going in to get their tonsils removed or their appendix taken out. They were forced into sterilization, without their permission… This happens to Beth, this obviously very privileged white girl, but it was happening all the time to Native women. Taylor highlights a lot of Native American and Indigenous stories and themes in the show, and he puts that on Beth.”

Created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, the TV series Yellowstone stars Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, and Wes Bentley. Season 5 premiered on November 13th, 2023, with new episodes available for streaming every Sunday via Paramount Plus. The prequel series, 1883, had its first season premiere last year. Another prequel series, 1923, will debut on December 18th, 2023.

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