(KGET) — Wes Bentley knows what it is like to be involved with a project that features strong writing, impressive co-stars and high production values. He’s seen all of that with productions such as “American Beauty,” “Interstellar” and “The Hunger Games.”
That’s why he is so happy to be part of the cast of Paramount Networks’ “Yellowstone.” It gives him a chance to say the words written by Oscar-nominated Taylor Sheridan, work with Kevin Costner and film in a location that is staggeringly beautiful.
“Yellowstone” revolves around the Dutton family, especially patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and his sons. The sixth-generation homesteader and devoted father must juggle running the largest contiguous ranch in the United States and dealing with a family full of problems.
The series features Bentley as Jamie Dutton, an attorney, aspiring politician and one of John’s (Costner) sons. Despite being completely loyal to his father and family, he is constantly frustrated at the current state of his family.
His son-father relationship with Costner’s character is one of the biggest pluses for Bentley.
“Their relationship is everything,” Bentley says. “I think his father was heroic to him when he was a kid. I think Jamie wanted to be one of the cowboys. He wanted to be his dad.
“I think he saw himself that way until his dad told him he was going to be a lawyer.
“There is other stuff that affects their relationship but the big one is when your dad doesn’t realize who you really are. But his dad never saw him or accepted him so I think everything Jamie does is to get attention, to get approval.”
The current third season has come with a big change for Bentley’s character where he finally was given the opportunity to show his real skills. But, in what looks like the universe is against Jamie, things go bad very quickly.
Bentley jokes that his character must have opened an umbrella in the wrong place to have so much bad luck. But, this is a primetime soap opera and there would be no show without someone always having bad luck.
“Jamie also has something the rest of the family doesn’t have – a healthy respect for the law,” Bentley says. “When approaching a legal problem, he actually sees danger. The rest of the family thinks they can solve the problem with a gun or something like that.
“Jamie’s approach is how to think his way around it. It’s funny that the person is the weaselliest of the bunch is the only one with a moral compass.”
The character was enough for Bentley to want to be part of the “Yellowstone” series. He was excited from the moment he heard the producers were interested in him because he grew up a fan of Westerns and watching Kevin Costner movies. He calls Costner a huge influence on his acting career. He praises Costner for helping him deal with some of the more complicated scenes in “Yellowstone.”
Bentley has been showing that influence since he started acting a little more than two decades ago. He’s best known for his role as Ricky Fitts in “American Beauty” (1999), which earned him a nomination for a BAFTA Award for Supporting Actor.
His other film credits include “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” “The Four Feathers” (2002), “Ghost Rider” (2007), “P2” (2007) and “Pete’s Dragon” (2016). On TV, he began appearing in the FX anthology series “American Horror Story” in 2014, playing Edward Mordrake in “Freak Show.” In 2015, he starred as Detective John Lowe in “Hotel,” for which he received a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination.
Bentley knew before he read the first “Yellowstone” script that he wanted to be part of the show because of Sheridan. He was a big fan of Sheridan’s “Hell or High Water.” As soon as he saw that movie, Bentley called those representing him and told them to find out what Sheridan was doing next because he wanted to be a part of it.
That project was “Yellowstone.” And, it was Sheridan who approached Bentley about the role before he heard about the actor’s interest.
Season three welcomes Josh Holloway to the cast that also includes Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, Forrie Smith, Denim Richards and Gil Birmingham
“Yellowstone” is the number one scripted series of the summer across cable and broadcast TV in the key 18-49 and 25-54 demos and the most-watched 2019 summer series on cable TV among total viewers.
The next new episode airs at 8 p.m. July 26.