Paramount Network’s Yellowstone was a massive hit after its release in 2018. It has captured the attention of many people worldwide, regardless if they aren’t fans of western movies. Since fans can’t get enough of the show, we decided to share some fantastic Yellowstone facts that many may not know.
10 Surprising Facts About the Show Fans Should Know
Below are ten facts that many Yellowstone fans, especially new ones, find surprising and interesting.
1. Kevin Costner’s Band wrote Songs for the Show
To the surprise of many, Ryan Bingham isn’t the only Yellowstone cast that’s a professional singer. Kevin Costner has a band called “Kevin Costner & Modern West.” The band released an album in 2020 titled “Tales From Yellowstone.”
The album is a remarkable collection of songs penned from the perspective of John Dutton. Its lead single, “Won’t Stop Loving You,” is about everything on the ranch that reminds John about Evelyn Dutton, the wife he loved and lost.
2. Kevin Costner Got Paid $500,000 an Episode in Season 1
Kevin Costner was the only actor that Sheridan considered to take on the role of John Dutton. Being a huge admirer of his work, Sheridan wanted to work on a project with Costner even before he had Yellowstone in his mind.
Spike TV, known as Paramount back then, also wanted to attract high-profile actors during their rebranding process. So, they paid Costner a considerable sum of money to “send a message,” as their network chief Kevin Kay would say.
As a result, it’s believed that Costner got paid $500,000 per episode during the first season of Yellowstone. The rumor is that he now receives a whopping $1 Million for each episode.
3. Ryan Bingham, Who Plays Walker, is a Singer in Real Life
The character, Walker, became a fan favorite in Yellowstone due to his singing talents and charming rebellious nature. His songs are considered highlights for some memorable scenes throughout the series, which isn’t surprising because Ryan Bingham, the actor that plays Walker, is a singer in real life.
With six studio albums under his belt, Bingham is an accomplished songwriter/singer. He also received an Oscar, Golden Globe Award, and Grammy for “The Weary Kind,” a song he wrote for the 2009 movie Crazy Heart.
4. Cole Hauser Needed No Auditions for Playing Rip
Unlike the other actors in the show, Cole Hauser didn’t need to audition to get the role of Rip Wheeler. It turns out that from Day 1, Sheridan already knew that Cole would be perfect as Rip. He even wrote and gave the character more scenes as the series continued.
Surprisingly, Hauser is one of the first actors to read the pilot script for Yellowstone. The character Rip resonated with him instantly, and the rest was history.
5. Casting Kelsey Asbille as Monica Led to Controversial Issues
One of the more surprising Yellowstone facts is the controversy that followed after the show cast Kelsey Asbille as Monica. Asbille claimed that playing a native role was “In her blood” because she was part Cherokee.
However, after an investigation, they didn’t find proof to back her claim about being of the Eastern Band of Cherokee descent. The incident sparked a wave of backlash from the indigenous community, accusing Asbille of her fraudulent claims.
One of the more prominent people that stood up against the decision to cast Asbille was Adam Beach, an actor known for his roles in Flags of Our Fathers, Suicide Squad, and Windtalkers. Beach even tried to convince native actors to decline work on Yellowstone until the production recasts the role of Monica.
6. Kelly Reilly Says Beth Dutton Was Her “Most Challenging” Role
Kelly Reilly, the British actress for Beth Dutton, says it’s the most challenging of all the characters she has played. Despite her insecurities about the role, Sheridan only considered Reilly for the part.
Due to her stellar performance as Beth in Yellowstone, many get surprised that Reilly is nothing like Beth off-screen. She has even confessed to being a home bird and an introvert, which is the complete opposite of the character she plays.
While she wasn’t that well-known in the US before Yellowstone, Reilly is not a newcomer in the acting industry. She previously starred in films such as Eden Lake, Sherlock Holmes, and Flight.
7. Andrea Fappani Appeared in the Show!
The $5 million rider and three-time National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity champion, Andrea Fappani, had a cameo in the show. He shows up in Episode 5 of Season 1 during the NRHA Futurity event. Fappani appears riding the sorrel stallion called Lil Joe Cash.
Apart from being the NRHA Futurity Champion, Fappani also owns Fappani Performance Horses, a company known for producing some of the industry’s best reining horses.
8. Yellowstone Actors Have an Annual Cowboy Camp
The core cast members of Yellowstone are required to undergo an extensive training program every year to prepare for the next Yellowstone season. While disguised as a “Cowboy Camp,” the program helps the cast learn how to live off the grid, herd cattle, and “rope ‘n ride” like true cowboys.
Taylor Sheridan is the camp’s organizer, aiming to give the actors an idea of what it’s like to live as their characters. Cole Hauser (Rip), Wes Bentley (Jamie), Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton), Jefferson White (Jimmy Hurdstrom), and Denim Richards (Colby) are among the attendants of the camp.
Of course, some cast members received an exemption from the camp. Since they are experienced riders, Kevin Costner (John Dutton) and Forrie J. Smith (Lloyd Pierce) weren’t required to attend. As for Kelly Reilly, she didn’t need to go to the camp since she didn’t have any riding scenes in the show.
9. Taylor Sheridan is the Show’s Main Horse Supplier
Taylor Sheridan doesn’t leave anything to chance when his show’s authenticity is concerned. So, when it comes to the horses used on the show, Sheridan is the one that supplies them.
Sheridan isn’t only the show’s creator. He is also a two-time ranch owner who runs several Texas horse and cattle breeding operations. It’s one of his life’s missions to produce the world’s best ranch horses and Angus cattle.
Sheridan also regularly enters his Quarter horses in reining and cutting competitions. He has managed to win several awards for his hard work in that field.
10. The Dutton Ranch is a Real Functioning Ranch
One thing that surprises most new Yellowstone fans is that the Dutton family’s home is more than just a film set. Yes, the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch is a real working ranch with a rich history.
The ranch is known as the Chief Joseph Ranch in real life. Located near Darby, Montana, the property spans 150 acres across the picturesque Bitterroot Valley.
Yellowstone’s location manager initially scouted the ranch and booked it via a “cold call.” In addition to the main house, the show’s filming also takes place at the barns, cabins, corrals, bunkhouse, round pen, armory, cemetery, and the wilderness surrounding the property.
Another surprising fact about the place is that it operates as a cattle and guest ranch whenever the Yellowstone crew isn’t filming. Ranch guests can book Lee Dutton’s or Rip’s luxurious cabins. Visitors are even allowed to bring a personal horse during their visit if they have one.
So, did you guys find yourself surprised by these Yellowstone Facts? They sure did when we first found out about them. We were stunned to learn about the last one. We would never hesitate to book a stay in the Chief Joseph Ranch for a chance to live out our Yellowstone fantasies if we could afford it!