Culture / Entertainment

Taylor Sheridan Brought the Yellowstone Season 5 Premiere to Fort Worth

The Multi-Hyphenate Continues to Spotlight Cowtown

BY // 11.14.22

While you and over 14 million others tuned in to the ratings-shattering season five premiere of Yellowstone last night, its Oscar-nominated co-creator and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, brought much of the cast to Fort Worth ― hosting its red carpet arrivals and after party at Hotel Drover, with a packed screening at the newly restored Isis Theater in the Stockyards.

No one knew what a phenomenon Yellowstone would become, or that it would launch careers, incorporating real cowboys and cowgirls in its cast. The rocking-Y brand is now the internationally recognized symbol of John Dutton’s mythic family and his sprawling Yellowstone Ranch in Montana.

Episode one of this season has Kevin Costner’s raspy and rugged family patriarch reluctantly ascending to the Governor’s mansion. But, it ends with the death of another family member (I won’t spoil it for you).

That’s one of the hazards of being on a show like Yellowstone ― you never know when someone might be “going to the train station.”

The actors are not privy to what’s going to happen in each episode (much less how the storyline will unfold over the entire season). They have to wait until they receive their script. Many of the stars told PaperCity Fort Worth that it’s always a relief to see their character is still breathing and they have lines to learn.

taylor sheridan yellowstone premiere fort worth texas
Cast members field questions from the media ahead of the premiere. (Photo by Courtney Dabney.)

Yellowstone Stars In Cowtown

When Taylor Sheridan thanked the audience ahead of Sunday night’s screening ― which was filled with his close family friends, as well as his business partners, and cast ― he said Paramount Network asked if he’d like to attend the premiere if they hosted it in Los Angeles. He said he wouldn’t be there. They offered up a New York premiere. He said he wouldn’t be there either. How about Dallas?

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“That’s about 30 miles too far to the east,” Sheridan replied, insisting the premiere take place in Fort Worth instead. “This time Hollywood comes to Fort Worth, instead of the other way around.”

On the red carpet, the tight-lipped ensemble cast was dutiful in not divulging much of anything about the upcoming season. That’s in their contract, I’m sure, but Sheridan has also gifted them all plausible deniability. You see, Yellowstone season five is still filming even as the premiere gets underway.

“It’s a dream come true. I want to go 10 seasons,” says Ian Bohen, who plays ranch hand Ryan.

His fellow bunkhouse pal, Colby, played by Denim Richards, who in real life is raising his family in Botswana, and commuting to Montana when Yellowstone is shooting, echoed the sentiment. “Your life changes by doing this type of show,” Richards says. “We are beating Sunday night football in the ratings.”

Piper Perabo’s environmental activist character Summer Higgins wound up in bed with John Dutton at one point last season, only to find herself behind bars by the end, thanks to Kelly Reilly’s mischievous Beth using her as an opportune scapegoat.

“With the way my character ended up in jail last season, you might be surprised to see me here on the red carpet,” Perabo says. “All I can tell you is that Summer is back this season. My advice is to never go head to head with Beth.”

taylor sheridan yellowstone premiere fort worth texas
Dawn Oliveri’s new character is ready to rumble as the brunette Beth. (Photo by Courtney Dabney.)

Then there is newcomer Dawn Olivieri’s character to consider. Olivieri describes Sarah Atwood as a “Corporate shark brought in by Market Equities. She’s kind of a brunette Beth. It’s going to be a clash of the titans.”

Dynasty-esque catfights come to mind. We can’t wait.

Actor Moses Brings Plenty plays Mo, the right-hand man to Gil Birmingham’s Thomas Rainwater character, whose reservation is always at odds with Dutton Ranch. Mo instantly corrected my terminology when I asked about his own personal story as an “indigenous person or native American.” He doesn’t prefer either of those definitions.

“I’m an original person,” he says. “Not superior, just original to this land.”

Mo is a member of the Lakota Sioux tribe, originally from South Dakota, and now resides in Kansas. He sees the role as an opportunity to educate, since so little of the actual history is ever taught or understood.

“I think it’s an important medium,” Brings Plenty tells PaperCity. “Taylor is able to open up the conversation and make it tasteful and make it digestible to a wider audience.”

Yellowstone – Actor Mo Brings Plenty appreciates Sheridan’s approach to a difficult subject. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
Actor Mo Brings Plenty appreciates Taylor Sheridan’s approach to a difficult subject. Photo by Courtney Dabney.

Other Yellowstone fan favorites in town for the premiere included Luke Grimes who plays the brooding yet dutiful son Kayce Dutton. “I wasn’t a cowboy before this show, but now I want to be one,” he says. “Whenever I come down here to Texas it’s to hang out with Taylor.”

And, of course, Jen Landon’s rough-around-the-edges Teeter has become a breakout star of the show. The character’s thick, ofttimes unintelligible, Cajun accent and sharp-tongued lines provide comic relief to many a scene.

“I thought it was a foreign language when I first read the part,” Landon says. “It was written phonetically, and Teeter has far less diction than the rest of the cast.”

Jefferson White, who plays Jimmy Hurdstrom, was sent down to Texas last season to learn how to be a cowboy at the legendary 6666 Ranch, which was easy for Taylor Sheridan to stage since he now owns the over 142,000-acre spread. The possibility of a spin-off series spotlighting Jimmy and 6666 Ranch (whose new website now resembles a movie trailer) was at least teased in that respect.

What’s next for Jimmy? We’ll have to wait and see.

Taylor Sheridan’s Universe

Sheridan who lives in Fort Worth (technically on his Bosque Ranch in Weatherford) has become one of the city’s biggest promoters, intentionally shining a light on its film industry and the creatives who work here. At The Lone Star Film Festival Gala held on Friday, November 11, he was honored to receive the festival’s Larry McMurtry Award for championing his hometown.

Taylor Sheridan’s Paramount+ hit, 1883, was filmed in Fort Worth over the summer of 2021, largely in the Stockyards National Historic District, which was completely transformed, as well as in nearby Granbury and on surrounding ranches. The next prequel telling the Dutton family saga is named 1923, starring Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford. It is set for a December 18 release.

Yellowstone – The afterparty setting at Hotel Drover in Fort Worth. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
The afterparty setting at Hotel Drover in Fort Worth. Photo by Courtney Dabney.

Sheridan unfolded the process of bringing his stories to life. A scene that has played out repeatedly over the years. First, he approaches the Paramount executives.

“I have this idea, I have absolutely no idea if it’s going to work, and it’s going to cost around $175 million, so I’d really appreciate it if you’d stake your reputation, and most likely your career on this whim that I’ve come up with,” he says. “And they said yes. So, then I have to go to my wife and say, so you’re going to be a movie widow for nine months.

“I’m going to go somewhere remote (because I don’t like making things in the city), and I’m going to be gone for birthdays, and anniversaries. And, she says yes.”

Taylor Sheridan famously treats every episode in a series as if it were its own stand-alone movie. The results and Yellowstone’s authentic portrayals of Western lifestyles speak for themselves. And, he has many more projects in the works, including Lioness, and 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, which will also be filmed in and around Fort Worth beginning in early 2023.

What’s next for the Dutton family? Aside from its marketing and merchandising magic, ever-expanding storylines with prequels like 1923, and spinoffs in all directions, we can only be sure of one thing: “Power has a price.”

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