Yellowstone has a large cast of intriguing characters, and among them is Ryan Bingham’s Walker. As it turns out, there's a cool story behind how Bingham, a singer and songwriter, landed the role. Walker is the talkative and contemplative ex-con who became one of “the branded” at the show’s titular ranch. He was also at the forefront of one of the third season’s many dramatic twists.
Once a welcome addition to the Yellowstone ranch, Walker wound up on the wrong side of its chief enforcer, Rip. Things got so rough that John Dutton cleared him for “train station” status, a.k.a. death. Instead, John’s son Kayce spared Walker, who resurfaced late in Season 3. Before all of that drama, Ryan Bingham was cast, and the backstory is an interesting one. Bingham recounted to PopCulture.com:
I originally met Taylor a few years back when he wrote and directed a film called Wind River. He contacted me about writing a song for the film[.] I never seemed to come up with anything for the movies at that time that fit, but we always kept in touch and remained friends. And when this show started up, he contacted me again about possibly writing some songs and using some of the songs that I already had. And after hanging out for a while, he learned that I had a history with rodeo and the cowboy thing. And so he said, 'Heck, I got to write you into this show.' And so that's how that all started.
Yes, Ryan Bingham initially met with Yellowstone’s co-creator Taylor Sheridan due to the movie Wind River, which Sheridan directed. The 2017 film met with critical acclaim. Bingham did not end up musically contributing to the movie, but after reuniting to talk about Yellowstone, Sheridan liked Bingham’s personal tune enough to write him into the show.
I am thrilled that it all worked out because Ryan Bingham has wonderfully contributed to Yellowstone. Bingham’s Walker is an overtly confident and swaggering contrast to the quietly combustible Rip. His survival at the hands of Kayce and subsequent discovery by Rip has reignited Walker’s storyline in a significant way heading into Season 4.
Walker is one of the Yellowstone characters confirmed to be alive heading into next season, which isn't the case for everybody, although it remains unclear what his future will hold. Surprisingly, Ryan Bingham has reportedly not gotten the call for Season 4 yet at the time of writing, which is a shocker considering how intensely Walker figured into the final episodes of Season 3. Why Walker would be absent is anyone's guess.
Yellowstone would not be the same without Walker, so it is fun to hear how he joined, and hopefully he remains on the show. Even if Walker’s Season 3 return did make me a bit nervous about Rip’s future, thankfully he and Walker survived. In Walker’s case, to sing another day. At least, for now.
No stranger to danger, Walker is already on Lloyd’s bad side, and it could get worse. I am curious about what Taylor Sheridan has in mind for him. Sheridan has utilized Ryan Bingham’s natural on-screen presence and his gift for music. Bingham has performed songs multiple times on the show to great effect. Here is hoping Walker keeps carrying a tune in the highly-anticipated fourth season.
Find out if Ryan Bingham’s Walker gets up to anything when Yellowstone returns for Season 4. The drama should return well after this fall’s premieres. I am hoping for a 2021 release date! For now, you can check out Walker’s past activities during the first two seasons of Yellowstone on NBCUniversal’s new streamer, Peacock.