Kelly Reilly (‘Yellowstone’): Beth Dutton is a ‘fearless thunderstorm of a woman’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

This is “a once in a lifetime role,” admits Kelly Reilly about portraying the fierce Beth Dutton on “Yellowstone,” who may be the most talked-about fan-favorite character on all of TV this past season. For our recent webchat she adds, “if someone had told me what a gift that this would end up being, just personally, creatively, professionally,” Reilly says, “it’s been one of those opportunities and I value it, I treasure it.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

“Yellowstone” is top-rated scripted show on TV, with the Paramount Network drama breaking records and shattering hearts last season. As the neo-Western’s superb fourth season basks in widespread praise, cast and crew are back in production for its highly anticipated fifth season, which will debut on November 13. The neo-Western was created by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”), about a powerful Montana ranching family under constant threat as the vast, gorgeously rendered Montana landscapes belie the harsh, violent world that the Duttons operate within. Oscar, Emmy and SAG Award winner Kevin Costner (“Dances With Wolves,” “Hatfields & McCoys”) stars as family patriarch John Dutton, with Reilly co-starring as the ruthless Beth alongside TV siblings Luke Grimes as favorite son Kaycee and Wes Bentley as black sheep Jamie, with Cole Hauser portraying rancher Rip Wheeler, the Duttons’ honorary adopted son and Beth’s devoted lover.

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The epic saga’s fourth season premiere was watched by a staggering 8.38 million live viewers, breaking ratings records as cable’s most watched episode of any series since 2018. Just like its viewership, the critical response to the show has also built steadily over the years, with its fourth season garnering an impressive 86% “fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes, claiming nominations so far this year from the producers guild, art directors guild, the Cinema Audio Society (where it won for sound mixing) and a SAG Award nomination for Best Drama Ensemble.

Beth Dutton is a 21st century Lady Macbeth, scorching the earth around her in pursuit of her intense, white-hot quest for vengeance over the catastrophic events of the Season 3 finale and her traumatic past. A formidable and ruthless power-player rarely showing vulnerability or weakness, it’s no wonder that in this day and age of political correctness, audiences love watching Beth cut everyone around her down to size with a terrifying glance or scathing insult, as she often has the last say, delivering the best one-liners on the show. “When you start a project, you have no idea if it’s going to work. So, when we all signed on five years ago, I knew because of Taylor Sheridan and the writing that it was going to be dangerous and brilliant and beautiful,” Reilly declares about her larger-than-life character. “When I read episode one the pilot of the first season, I had never read a female character like her before,” she says. “Not a femme fatale, not a man-eater, not someone who’s just a bitch, but these very conflicting layers of who this woman was, with deep-rooted trauma and pain underneath this fearless thunderstorm of a woman. I find her heart and her loyalty and her devotion to her father beautiful. I also find it incredibly sad; she moves me a lot. The way Taylor writes her, he clearly loves writing her and some of the things I get to do and say as Beth, you know there’s only one way to do it, which is to fully commit.”

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