Yellowstone's Wes Bentley On The Heaviness Of Getting Back Into Playing Jamie Dutton Each Season

With each new season of Yellowstone comes the chance that Jamie Dutton might finally do something that completely reverses his consistently effed status in life and places him at the top of John’s list of favorite offspring. Of course, fans know that’s about as likely as Teeter showing up to herd cattle wearing a tuxedo. As such, it seems like it’d be a pretty rough role for star Wes Bentley to dive back into each season, pretty much knowing Jamie won’t be involved in any fun and frivolous scenes or storylines. 

When CinemaBlend spoke with Wes Bentley ahead of the highly anticipated Season 5 premiere, as seen above, I asked the actor about returning to Jamie’s headspace ahead of each year’s production, and here’s how he answered:

You know, honestly, it's a good question, because it's always hard to gear up. I get very anxious. I start to, you know, I get a little nervous, 'cause I know the heaviness that's coming when it's about time to play Jamie again. But I also, once we dive in, I get into it. It's intense, but it's rewarding because, as an actor, you're looking for the things that Taylor provides for this character. So I get to do things and try things and explore emotions that maybe in other roles I haven't been able to do, so there's a joy to it as well.

There's definite merit to Bentley's words there, in that Yellowstone may not intrinsically seem so different from other hyper-dramatic shows out there, even with its western flairs, but there really isn't anyone else on TV like this show's main characters. Jamie is a particular standout in the sense that viewers have to actively work at pulling for him as a protagonist, as opposed to just joining the flock in thinking he deserves every hateful side-eye glare that's shot his way.

And so taking on a role like that doesn't make for the most rainbow-filled headspace for Wes Bentley. But for him, the fact that it's a relatively rare kind of role to play is precisely what makes it worth it. Taylor Sheridan's writing has a way of working itself into the brains of both actors and viewers, and it's no different for the American Beauty vet. To that end, he talked about having to shed his Jamie-ness once he makes his yearly Montana exodus. In his words:

But it is a very hard role to play, and it takes a time for me to come out of it even, to be back home with my kids and them see me instead of Jamie.

Kevin Costner perhaps put it best over the summer when saying that if Jamie ever did get back in John’s good graces, the show would probably have to end. So anyone hoping that the show takes a distinct left-field turn in Season 5 is bound to be disappointed. But that’s likely where the disappointments end, because Beth and Rip and everything else that makes this show great.

While we know Cole Hauser will be taking on a different role other than rip for 1883’s second season based on the legendary lawman Bass Reeves. Should we expect to see Wes Bentley following suit by taking on a less put-upon role in another upcoming Yellowstone project? I’m sure the actor wouldn’t abhor such a concept, but that’s all for Taylor Sheridan to decide. 

Yellowstone will return and presumably turn ratings expectations on their head as Season 5 premieres on Paramount Network on Sunday, November 17, at 8:00 p.m. ET. The ep will be followed by the series premiere of Sylvester Stallone’s Tulsa King, which will otherwise be exclusively available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what else is hitting the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.