With networks, streamers, and cable outlets dropping celebrated new series with A-list stars on a seemingly weekly basis, TV fans are indeed living in a veritable small screen golden age. But even with all the prestige-kissed shows hitting the airwaves in recent years, few have made quite the same seismic splash as “Yellowstone.” The Kevin Costner-fronted drama debuted on Paramount Network in 2018, and has since become a record-breaking ratings juggernaut (per Variety) — one that delivers high-octane Western thrills and sweeping drama against a lavish, cinematic backdrop.
At its center is an ace cast of characters, with co-creator Taylor Sheridan drawing from his own ranching background to conjure a motley crew of macho wranglers as singularly archetypal as they are authentically flawed. While “Yellowstone” fans no doubt have their own favorites among the Dutton Ranch regulars, one of the more universally adored characters from the bunkhouse is Jimmy Hurdstrom (Jefferson White). That may be because Jimmy is arguably the one character in the whole of the series who’s experienced legitimate emotional growth through its first four-and-a-half seasons.
It’s worth noting that a significant part of that growth came after he left the Dutton faction to learn the proper way of the cowboy at Texas’ famed 6666 Ranch. Jimmy also met himself a lady work ing the Four Sixes, and his relationship with Emily (Kathryn Kelly) has become one of the series’ sweeter subplots. As it turns out, the couple’s memorable first kiss was actually captured in just a single take.
Jefferson White says nailing that scene in one take was like playing in the Super Bowl
Jefferson White himself made that claim during a recent appearance on the official “Yellowstone” podcast. He did so in conversation with co-star Jen Landon, who plays Teeter on the show. And when Landon prompted the actor about his favorite scenes so far, White brought up Jimmy and Emily’s first kiss. That kiss occurred on location in Texas, far from the usual locales in which “Yellowstone” shoots. And according to White, those scenes were shot more or less guerilla style, with a skeleton crew and Taylor Sheridan himself directing the action.
“Me and Kat Kelly were sort of the only actors, surrounded by a bunch of cowboys, with Taylor there directing us,” White said. He went on to add that the porch scene in which Jimmy and Emily first kiss was indeed a one-take wonder. “We were always moving fast. There was at least one scene we did literally one take of … The scene when Jimmy drops Emily off at her house and they kiss for the first time, the sun was setting, it was a magic hour scene and we did one take. One take, one set-up, done.”
Landon was legitimately blown away by that news, and given how powerfully the low-key amorous scene plays, it’s not hard to understand why. As for White, he went on to equate the immediacy of such a shoot to playing in the Super Bowl, noting of those magical moments, “They’re really, like, why we do this.”