What You Never Knew About The Cast Of Yellowstone

Kevin Costner had a string of big-screen hits throughout the 1980s and '90s, characterized by such hits as "Field of Dreams," "The Bodyguard," "The Untouchables," and his Oscar-winning directorial debut, "Dancing with Wolves." By the 2010s, however, Costner was no longer the box-office draw he once was, and turned his attention to television. His first TV outing — in which he was both star and producer — was the 2012 miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," which proved to be a massive ratings hit

That success led to the 2018 launch of "Yellowstone," a drama for the fledgling Paramount Network in which Costner (who, once again, also produced) played wealthy cattle rancher John Dutton, who experiences conflicts with land developers, Native Americans on an adjacent reservation, and the government. While initial reviews were scathing (The Guardian described "Yellowstone" as "a soapy mess," and Entertainment Weekly dubbed it "trash"), viewers felt differently. By the end of its fourth season, "Yellowstone" attracted a TV audience of 9.3 million, with Deadline declaring the series to be the No. 1 show on television, "across broadcast, cable, and premium."

While the stars of this massively popular series have become familiar to the millions of fans who watch the show, how much do viewers really know about the cast of TV's hottest show? There's plenty to discover by reading on to find out what you never knew about the cast of "Yellowstone."

Kevin Costner was incredibly embarrassed by his first movie

Kevin Costner's very first screen credit came with a minor role in the 1981 comedy "Malibu Hot Summer," described as a depiction of "Malibu beach life by day, and the L.A. club life by night." The low-budget film flopped, and was never heard from again — until Costner subsequently became one of Hollywood's biggest stars. As a TV Guide review pointed out, the film was rereleased in 1986 on home video under a new title — "Sizzle Beach, U.S.A." — and marketed as a Costner star vehicle, even though his role was relatively small. 

Not only was the film a stinker (TV Guide described it as being "inept from the opening titles to the closing credits"), it also featured Costner in a sex scene he was reportedly reluctant do in the first place. Costner was not happy that this particular blast from his past was resurfacing. So eager was Costner to destroy all traces of the film (and his sex scene), he tried to buy the rights in hopes of burning the negative so it would never be seen. However, Troma Entertainment, which held the rights, refused to sell and instead released the film — to Costner's ever-lasting chagrin.

Kevin Costner's ownership of a casino landed him in court

While shooting his Oscar-winning 1990 directorial debut "Dances with Wolves" in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Kevin Costner fell in love with the land. So enamored was Costner of the area, reported the Buffalo News, that he and his brother, Dan, purchased a property in Deadwood that they converted into a casino, the Midnight Star Gaming Emporium.

Trouble emerged several years later, reported CBS News, when Costner brought on Francis and Carla Caneva to manage the casino for him, awarding them a 6.5-percent ownership stake for their efforts. The relationship apparently soured, and the duo was fired July 2004. When they refused to relinquish their ownership, however, Costner moved to dissolve their partnership, which couldn't be done until the market value of the casino could be assessed. While Costner's accountant declared the casino was worth $3.1 million, the Canevas countered with the testimony of a casino-owner who claimed he'd pay double that. As Today reported, Costner took his ex-partners and won, with the judge ruling that the Canevas' overinflated estimate had no validity.

More than a decade later, in 2017 Costner shut the place down. As Casino.org reported, the Midnight Star was the victim of a general economic downturn in Deadwood. Costner ultimately sold the place to a group of investors, reported the Rapid City Journal, who kept the Midnight Star name when the place ultimately reopened.

Kevin Costner and the lawsuit from a Baldwin brother

Following the devastation wreaked by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, reported The Guardian, Kevin Costner was inspired to spend millions funding research at a company called Ocean Therapy Solutions to develop technology that could clean up similar oil spills. As Costner told CNN, the invention uses a giant centrifuge to separate the oil and water while recycling the oil. Following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the company responsible for the spill ordered 32 of the devices from Costner's company — at a cost of $24 million each. 

However, the situation became a little sticky when fellow actor Stephen Baldwin sued Costner. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Baldwin — brother of actors Alec and William — claimed that he and associate Spyridon Contogouris had entered into an agreement to market the technology, but were purposefully excluded from a meeting with BP and ultimately sold their interests back to Costner. Baldwin's convoluted lawsuit sought $17 million in damages, claiming the two never would have sold out had they known the lucrative BP deal was in the works.

Ultimately, Baldwin's lawsuit proved to be a loser. As The Guardian reported, Costner refused to settle and instead took the case to trial, where the jury rejected Baldwin's claims. "My name means more to me than money and that's why we didn't settle," declared Costner after the verdict.

Kelly Reilly and the Madonna-Guy Ritchie divorce scandal

British actor Kelly Reilly is well known to "Yellowstone" viewers for her role as Beth Dutton, daughter of star Kevin Costner's character. Back in 2008, however, Reilly unexpectedly found herself in the tabloids, smack dab in the center of the messy breakup between pop star Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie. At the time, Reilly had just begun filming the Ritchie-directed feature film "Sherlock Holmes," when US Weekly (via Lainey Gossip) reported Ritchie and Reilly were dating.

As it turned out, reports of Reilly's romance with Ritchie were not just wildly exaggerated, but utterly untrue. "I had done one day's filming with him and said, 'Hello, how are you?'" Reilly said of Ritchie in an interview with The Telegraph. "We'd talked about a scene and before you knew it there were press on my parents' doorstep going, 'So, I hear that Kelly's the reason for the divorce.'" As Reilly explained, she was in a relationship with someone else at the time, and barely even knew Ritchie, whom she described as "a nice guy but we hadn't even had a cup of tea together."

Recalling her totally-invented scandal in an interview with The Guardian, Reilly wrote it off as "ridiculous nonsense." Admitting it felt "surreal, like it was happening to somebody else," she conceded the whole thing was nonetheless very disturbing. "I let it affect me because it was embarrassing," she said.

Luke Grimes is launching a second career as a musician

Luke Grimes portrays Kayce Dutton on "Yellowstone," son of Kevin Costner's John Dutton. While Grimes is arguably best known to "Yellowstone" viewers for playing Kayce, he's also appeared in numerous films and TV series prior to that. According to his IMDb credits, he's appeared in "American Sniper," "The Magnificent Seven," and all three "Fifty Shades of Grey" movies, along with such TV series as "True Blood" and "Brothers & Sisters." 

Beyond his acting work, Grimes has another creative endeavor that he's been pursuing. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he revealed he was ready to embark on a sideline as a musician. However, he insisted that whatever happened with his music, it would not be reflected in his "Yellowstone" role. "I think it would be weird if Kayce started singing," he quipped. Speaking with Rolling Stone in early 2022, Grimes confirmed he'd been writing songs, and was looking to launch a career as a country artist. 

As he told Rolling Stone, music wasn't anything new for him, given that he had previously been the drummer in a Los Angeles-based country band. "It was around that time when the alt-country thing was really going on," Grimes recalled. "Wilco and Ryan Adams were really big then and we were kind of like that. I played guitar too and helped write songs for the band, so I got to be more than just the drummer. It was a cool experience."

Taylor Sheridan not only plays Travis, he's also the creator of Yellowstone

Since the first season of "Yellowstone," Taylor Sheridan has portrayed Travis Wheatley, a horse trader who regularly does business with Kevin Costner's John Dutton. If Sheridan's face rings a bell for viewers, that shouldn't be a surprise given that he's been acting for decades; in fact, Sheridan's IMDb credits extend back to the mid-1990s, with roles in series including "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Party of Five," and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," along with recurring characters on "Sons of Anarchy," and "Veronica Mars."

What viewers of "Yellowstone" may not know, however, is that Sheridan is not only an actor on the show, but also the series' creator. While pursuing his acting career, Sheridan also carved out a sideline as a top-notch screenwriter, penning the scripts for films "Sicario," "Hell or High Water," and others. As he revealed in an interview with the Missoulian, he began developing "Yellowstone" in 2013, while he was still appearing on "Sons of Anarchy." 

In the initial announcement for "Yellowstone," as reported by "Deadline," Sheridan offered a description of the show that, in hindsight, also goes a long way in explaining its popularity. "The show is both timely and timeless," he said. "As much as it explores themes painfully relevant to the world today, it explores the very essence of family, and how the actions of one member can alter the course of generations."

Why Cole Hauser may no longer be welcome in Romania

Cole Hauser plays Rip Wheeler on "Yellowstone," husband of Kelly Reilly's Beth. Ostensibly employed as a ranch hand, Rip is also the Dutton family "fixer," making problems go away via tactics that may not be exactly legal. 

Hauser is no Hollywood neophyte, with his roster of IMDb credits stretching back to the early 1990s, including an array of films such as "Dazed and Confused," "Good Will Hunting," and "2 Fast 2 Furious." One of his pre-"Yellowstone" roles, however, unexpectedly led to controversy in an Eastern European country: the 2005 horror movie "The Cave," which he shot in Romania. Discussing his experience with Movie Hole, Hauser shared some not-so-fond memories of working in the country. "Well, Romania has a distinctive smell to begin with, so driving to work stunk and then walking on the set stunk even worse," he recalled. "And then you're in close quarters with these guys, and Europeans aren't known for their hygiene; I don't think there's too much body deodorant in Romania. It was definitely an experience being in these tight quarters with grown men."

Given that "Yellowstone" is filmed in the wide-open spaces of Montana and Utah, it's a safe assumption that Hauser — or at least his nose — is enjoying his latest project a whole lot more.

Kelly Asbille's Yellowstone casting stirred up controversy

Kelly Asbille is known to "Yellowstone" viewers as Monica Dutton, wife of Luke Grimes' character, Kayce Dutton. Monica is also Native American, granddaughter of elder Felix Long (Rudy Ramos) on the Broken Rock reservation that abuts the Duttons' ranch. Asbille, she told W Magazine, is of English, Chinese, and Cherokee descent. Portraying a Native American character on "Yellowstone," she said, provided an opportunity to "get in touch with that side of my heritage."

However, that heritage brought up some questions. While The New York Times identified Asbille as being descended from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, BuzzFeed News reported that actor Sonny Skyhawk made some inquiries to the nation's Tribal Enrollment Office, which could find no record of Asbille or any evidence that she's actually of Cherokee descent. 

Regardless of the authenticity of Asbille's heritage, at least one Native American actor called out "Yellowstone" for not casting an actor with a less tenuous heritage. Adam Beach (known for his roles in "Flags of Our Fathers," and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") took to Instagram to register his objections. Sharing news of Asbille's casting, Beach wrote, "Failure in Diversity," and asked Native American actors to boycott "Yellowstone." According to Beach, casting Asbille in that role was essentially "telling the world that there are no Native actresses capable of leading a TV show. Unless your great-great-great grandparents are Cherokee." 

Wes Bentley turned down the role of an iconic superhero

Fans of "Yellowstone" know Wes Bentley from his role as Jamie Dutton, adopted son of John Dutton (something that wasn't revealed about the character until the third season). Film and television viewers will also recall Bentley from his roles in TV's "American Horror Story," and such movies as "American Beauty," "The Hunger Games," and "Interstellar." 

One big project not appearing on the actor's IMDb page, however, is "Spider-Man." A report from back in 2000 claimed that Bentley was on the Spidey short-list, along with Heath Ledger, Chris Klein, Ewan McGregor, and Tobey Maguire. While Maguire ultimately landed the role, it was only after Bentley had already turned it down. As Bentley told the Express Tribune, in his younger days it was something of a knee-jerk reaction to turn down offers for big-budget projects. "I didn't want to go there because I believed in what I did in 'American Beauty' was special and I had higher expectations for myself to do something like that again," he said. 

Looking back, Bentley admitted that he would now look at projects like "Spider-Man" with more of an open mind than he did when he was younger. "I regret not doing them and they're painful to watch sometimes," he confessed. "But they're a reminder of my struggle. If I were to get those opportunities again, I'd know exactly how to handle them. I think age and experience has made me more decisive and clear-headed."

Jefferson White warned fans about an online impersonator out to scam them

There's no denying that "Yellowstone" character Jimmy Hurdstrom has experienced the show's most dramatic transformation, from drug-dealing lowlife to respected cowboy on the Four Sixes Ranch. As played by actor Jefferson White, Jimmy has become something of a fan favorite with the show's viewers. 

Let it never be said that White doesn't look out for those fans. As the Express reported, in early 2022 the actor shared a message on his Instagram Stories to warn that someone had been impersonating him online. "Hey, a bunch of people been telling me they're getting an email from a fake me," he said in a video he posted. "So I'm sorry if you get an email, I didn't send it to you. Unless you want to give me your social security number? Just kidding."

White concluded by clarifying that whoever was pretending to be him most decidedly was not, and instructed his Instagram followers not to respond to the fake Jefferson White. "I don't know what to do about it," he admitted. "What do I look like, some kind of nerd?"

Gil Birmingham and the Diana Ross connection

Gil Birmingham's acting career stretches back to the 1980s, and he should be instantly recognizable to fans of the "Twilight" movies for portraying Billy Black. On "Yellowstone," Birmingham — who is of Comanche ancestry — plays Thomas Rainwater, chief of the Broken Rock reservation. 

Interestingly enough, Birmingham entered acting via bodybuilding, which he viewed as a form of creative expression. "I was fascinated that you could sculpt a body like a piece of sculpture," he told Cowboys & Indians. Even though his pumped physique led to an acting-adjacent gig playing Conan the Barbarian at Los Angeles' Universal Studios theme park, a career in movies and television was never the endgame. "I didn't have a dream of becoming a bodybuilder so I could become an actor," he explained.

As it turned out, Birmingham's real entry into show business came when he was scouted at a gym ("the same gym where Arnold Schwarzenegger worked out," he recalled) to be one of the bodybuilders in the music video for the Diana Ross song "Muscles." Recalling he had "so much fun on the set," his girlfriend at the time — an aspiring actor herself — suggested he take some acting lessons. "And I said, 'Hey, I don't know. I don't really have a direction going right now — let's see what this acting thing's about.'"

The hilarious resolution to Josh Holloway's angry altercation at a Canadian traffic stop

In 2020, USA Today reported that Josh Holloway of "Lost" fame was joining the cast of "Yellowstone" for its third season, playing Roarke Morris, a rancher who was at odds with Kevin Costner's John Dutton. Prior to joining "Yellowstone," Holloway dropped by "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" to promote his sci-fi series "Colony." During his appearance, he recounted a bizarre occurrence that took place while he was filming the show in Vancouver, when he found himself "stuck in traffic for a long time." Holloway tried to clamp down on his initial impulse to erupt in furious road rage. However, he recalled, after being stuck in traffic for about 25 minutes, he was "shaking," joking that his "American really wants to come out." 

Finally, Holloway discovered the cause of the traffic delay was a worker in a construction zone, wielding a stop sign and "having a blast" while pointing the sign at drivers "with attitude." Admitting he was "getting very annoyed," eventually Holloway erupted. "The American just blows up in me," he explained, which led him to lean out his car window and tell the guy, "Hey you blankety-blank, you better move your blank out of the way or I'll run it the blank over." 

The object of Holloway's ire then offered an unexpected response. "He froze, looked at me, turned around and dropped his pants and mooned me so big!" Holloway said.

Ryan Bingham is an Oscar-winning singer-songwriter

Ryan Bingham has appeared in multiple episodes of "Yellowstone" as Walker, an ex-con who landed on the bad side of Dutton family enforcer Rip (Cole Hauser). While "Yellowstone" isn't Bingham's only acting credit, acting isn't actually his primary vocation. In fact, Bingham is actually an acclaimed singer-songwriter who won a 2010 Oscar for "The Weary Kind," a song he co-wrote for the film "Crazy Heart," starring Jeff Bridges. 

Bingham's role in "Yellowstone" came about after he met with series creator Taylor Sheridan, who was interested in having Bingham write a song for "Wind River," the 2017 film Sheridan directed. While that didn't work out, he and Sheridan remained friendly and stayed in touch. 

Prior to the starting production on "Yellowstone," Bingham said in an interview with Cinema Blend, Sheridan "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."

Eden Brolin's grandmother is Barbra Streisand

Eden Brolin has appeared in numerous episodes of "Yellowstone" as Mia, a rodeo barrel racer. Prior to "Yellowstone," Brolin was best known for her role on the Freeform sci-fi series "Beyond." 

Of course, she's equally well-known as the daughter of Josh Brolin, whose memorable roles include comic-book bad guy Cable in "Deadpool 2" and Thanos in the final two "Avengers" movies. She's also the granddaughter of actor James Brolin. "She's doing so well," he told Closer Weekly of his granddaughter's burgeoning acting career. "She's the sweetest girl and she's been singing and playing the piano since I remember ... since she was seven years old. This is kind of all natural to her."

The elder Brolin also happens to be the husband of the legendary Barbra Streisand. Even though the "Yellowstone" actor and the "Funny Lady" star may not be related by blood, in a 2009 interview with Parade, Streisand referred to Eden as her "granddaughter." At the time, Streisand said, she was "16 years old and it was the sweetest thing — she just wanted to spend time with us. I cancelled all my appointments ... It's so much fun to be with her. That's more important now."