As the June 19th premiere date for Yellowstone season 2 approaches, some of its stars spoke with Screen Rant about their arcs. Rip Wheeler, played by Cole Hauser, will have a lot on his plate managing the ranch and keeping John Dutton's (Kevin Costner) affairs in order. Beth Dutton, portrayed by Kelly Reilly, will be taking it upon herself to defend those she loves at all costs. Chief among them Rip himself, as the two share a tumultuous bond that will be explored more in depth this year.
Your scenes together were electric, so I’m very much looking forward to the relationship as it develops this season. Can you guys talk about that? Where do you guys stand in each other’s eyes?
Kelly Reilly: Yeah. We explore more of their backstory in season 2. We really go back to when they were kids, when they first meet. We realize and we understand that this is a lifelong relationship, and how similar they kind of are, as well. And their loyalty is to each other. You can say whatever you want about Beth, and how outrageous she can be – but when she loves, she loves hard. And she loves Rip.
Cole Hauser: Yeah, I think Taylor did a wonderful job of kind of exposing us together. Meaning not to anybody else, but to the audience and to each other. And there’s some really beautiful scenes between her and I where you really get to explore who they are.
Speaking of exploring who your character is, some of the most powerful parts of season 1 were the flashbacks to Beth’s childhood and her dynamic with her mother. Is there more insight into the lessons her mother taught her, and maybe how that’s colored Beth in her father’s eyes?
Kelly Reilly: Yes. If you think about what her mother taught her, it’s “You’ve got to be stronger than all these boys. I’m going to be tougher on you than anybody.” And then she blamed her as she’s dying... I don’t know how you survive that. And so Beth is what she is because of that. Everything she is is because of that. Every breath she takes is because of that. And she’s just trying to find her way through life, you know? It influences the relationship with every character, I think.
I view Rip as another one of John’s sons, and I think Rip views John as a father figure. Do tensions arise with the return of the prodigal son Kayce to the ranch?
Cole Hauser: Between Kayce and I, yeah. I think what’s interesting about our relationship is it is a big brother-little brother relationship, and there is some obvious residue from him leaving the ranch and kind of not helping his father when I think he should have. But in the end, I think Rip loves each and every one of his sons like he does John, and obviously he has a tremendous amount of love for Beth. So I don’t think he’s the kind of person that goes, “I’m gonna put myself in the middle of this and stand on my own two feet.” It’s been happening for thirty years.
Kelly Reilly: Beth, on the other hand, will stand in the middle of it. She sees what’s going on. She sees the Golden Boy son coming home, and there’s some tension there with her father, and she lets him know how she feels about it. And I think that’s where a lot of Beth’s sort of… What I love about her most is her loyalty and her dignity to those who she loves, and she doesn’t mince her words about it, and she’ll let them know. And that’s pretty much what season 2 is for me, it’s about trying to protect [Rip].
Finally, there’s a lot about the branding in season 1. Obviously, you literally brand people, and you talk about how you were branded on the inside. Will we get more insight into what the brand means to you both, and why does this ranch go so hard?
Kelly Reilly: Gosh, all these characters are bound to it. I mean, you don’t leave Yellowstone. That’s the thing. If you leave, you’re on the train. Because there are some dodgy things that are happening at Yellowstone, and in order for it to survive, you’ve got to keep your mouth shut. It’s a little bit of Western Mafia happening here. But on a deeper emotional level to that, I think the branding is significant because they are all bound to this place emotionally. And they cannot escape; it will never be washed off.
Cole Hauser: I don’t think you can say it any better than that, so I’m just gonna stay silent over here.