Wes Bentley interview: ‘Yellowstone’
“I’m waiting on pins and needles, like everybody else!” admits Wes Bentley about what “Yellowstone” fans can expect when Season 5 returns this summer after its spectacular mid-season finale. For our recent webchat he adds, “I’ve learned in TV that you wait to see the pages. I don’t want to decide anything for my character too early. I find the joy and waiting for the pages to come and then discovering all these things.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“Yellowstone” is the top-rated scripted show on TV. The Paramount Network hit series broke ratings records and shattered hearts last season, and Season 5 has built on that success, captivating 12.1 million live-plus-same-day viewers, a huge uptick on an already high watermark. The neo-Western was created by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”), about a powerful Montana ranching family under constant threat by politicians, developers and the neighboring Native American reservation. Oscar, Emmy and SAG Award winner Kevin Costner (“Dances With Wolves,” “Hatfields & McCoys”) stars as family patriarch John Dutton, with Luke Grimes co-starring as favorite son Kaycee alongside TV siblings Kelly Reilly as the ruthless Beth and Bentley as the black sheep Jamie, with Cole Hauser playing Rip, the Duttons’ honorary adopted son and Beth’s loving husband.
Season 5 opened with John being sworn in as Montana’s new governor and Jamie squirming under his vengeful sister’s thumb. The season was packed with more of the series’ trademark epic storylines, political and familial in-fighting, bloodshed and tears, which has culminated with battle lines being drawn between the Dutton inner circle and outcast Jamie, who has made a Faustian bargain with the family’s developer enemy’s seductive lawyer (Dawn Olivieri). Bentley says that portraying the damaged black sheep of this family has been a highlight of his career to date. “It was my dream to have a role like this,” he declares. “I always was interested in complex characters and actors who could do those complicated characters and morally ambiguous characters, because that’s really interesting,” the actor says, pointing to Sheridan’s writing. “I’ve really had to be brave and be as vulnerable as I could, and be brave to experience these things without being afraid of it and hiding from it, because you’ll see that in the performance, and I didn’t want that,” he explains. “I really surprised myself through this guy and through these challenges that Taylor gives me. Welcome challenges. Taylor gives me the abilities that I didn’t know I had.”