As we prepare for the premiere of Yellowstone Season 2, we have for you a look at Jamie Dutton through the eyes of Wes Bentley.
With a long line of movie credits to his name, this is only Bentley's second television series, but he has some great observations about his extended portrayal of the middle son in a family dynasty.
As is usual with this Paramount Network show, things are going to go from zero to one hundred very quickly. Where will Jamie be without the support of his father? Will he be making strange bedfellows with family adversaries? Read on to find out!
What kind of situations can we expect for Jamie in the second season, now that he's lost his dads' support?
Yeah, Jamie's... I think he's trying to make a statement and step out on his own. Maybe stand up to his father because he thinks that's what will give him his due attention that he seeks.
But this thing he's searching for ends up taking him down some really dark paths, and dangerous paths, and Jaime ends up with strange bedfellows in an odd situation that might put everyone in danger.
In the preview it makes it seem as though he's going to be getting into bed with Rainwater. What would that mean for Jaime? In terms of his own sense of mind, as well as what it would mean for his family.
Well, you know, before he ran for office it would be a no-brainer; there's no way he would sit down with enemies, and I guess throughout, Rainwater sees an opening in a possible way to challenge Jamie's' loyalty to the family.
And it's a big moment for Jamie because, I think, any moment up until that moment he would have easily said no, but now things are different. He's starting to face off with his father and this might be the only option. So he starts to consider things he would have never thought before in his life.
How do you think Jamie would react if John decided to back his election after all?
That's a good question. I think he would not know what to do. I mean, I think he thought that was happening anyway. I think he would be overjoyed but suspicious.
I think he would then have to consider, is this really what I'm meant to do? Am I a politician? And I don't know if Jamie's fully decided that or if he just knows that's the path he is supposed to take.
And you mentioned this a little bit, it does seem like everything that he does, he does because he's seeking his father's approval and wants to be the favorite son. Do you think he's thinking through things clearly and-
With the way that he's fighting back?
No. No. I think Jamie's a very smart guy. I think he can think out anybody else's problems, but when it comes to his own problems, he's a mess, and he makes big mistakes, and I think that's really what's going to happen. Which is why Jamie's living a life that Jamie might not have not wanted to live, and was told to live this life, and he's doing the best he can to do what he was told to do.
So I think it's extra frustrating and it challenges him, his mental stability when he's told to be this and then all of the sudden that's ripped away from him. And now Jamie, he's lost his footing, he has no idea where he stands in life, with his family, or in his job.
And you know we saw in the first season, that he didn't grow to be the stuffed shirt of the family. He was doing rodeo, working with the bulls and everything. And what do you think, I guess where does he stand emotionally? And where do you stand? Do you hope that you get to get all dirty and dusty on the ranch sometimes?
Yeah. I think Jamie definitely pictured himself staying on the ranch and cowboying, and sort of doing what Lee, who the guy in the first season, his brother, really was doing.
I think he pictured himself doing something like that and I think he was told at some point that he was not going to do that, and I think that has challenged him since that very day. Because he's living a life that's not what he feels it should be and a lot of people live that life but when you have the potential of the Dutton ranch, and all the things you want are right there, then that can be enough to drive somebody crazy.
And me as Wes, yeah I'd love to not wear a suit and not worry about it getting dirty. I'd love to be on a horse again, but you know, I'm patient.
And there are some pictures where it looks like you've dressed down a little bit and you're with your siblings. What kind of relationship is he going to have with Beth... Well, just let's go first with Kayce and then we'll address Beth because she's a whole different animal.
Yeah. Yeah. She sure is. There's a pretty good scene coming up in the season where Kayce and Jamie come face to face at the table, and they've both been going through a lot of stuff and you realize in that moment, because they're sort of like, "what's going on with you," that they haven't even really talked.
I think Jamie never saw Kayce as a real threat to his desire to run the ranch one day... Jamie's' desire. So that hasn't become a problem yet or an issue and they don't really... I don't know how strong their relationship is because of the age difference and Kayce going off to war at a young age as well, and also rebelling against the house.
So we start to sort of find out who they are as brothers, without their older brother now this season.
And I mean Beth, whatever's going on, I still don't fully know what it is, I know a bit, I don't want to sound completely vacant to it. We don't know exactly, we haven't worked out exactly what it is, there's something festering between them, must have been for years.
And it'll be really interesting when we all get to find out what that is. But you know there's a lot of love and there's a lot of hate between them, and it's really intriguing. So it's going to be great to find out why.
And you and Kelly Reilly have a lot of physical scenes together; how do you two approach those? The fight scenes between Jamie and Beth.
Well, it's great. I've done quite a bit of fight scenes in my career, but Kelly, I don't think, had done any. Or if she had, it wasn't too physical, like we did in the barn. So she really wanted to work it out and make sure it was right, and that's kind of how we carried on.
But we have immense love and trust for each other, and it makes it really easy to go to scary places when you have trust. It's easier when you have trust than when you don't, so we have that, and I think it makes it even more interesting between them.
What do you like most about Jamie as a character?
You know what? Honestly, this is going to sound so pretentious, and I'm sorry, but one of my biggest rules as an actor is to not have a moral judgment of my character, like him or don't like him.
Until I'm done with him and then I can make that judgment because if I judge, then I might end up playing a caricature of them, rather than their true nature. And that's what I'm most afraid of as an actor.
Given what you just said, are you afraid to give any advice for Jamie, or do you have some you might toss his way?
Well, no I wouldn't because my advice is usually terrible. My kids will tell you that. I don't think he'd want to listen to me anyway. [laughs]
And is there anybody that you haven't had an opportunity to work with yet that you hope you get to down the road?
Oh yeah, quite a few great actors. I mean, yeah. Idris Elba always comes to mind, so Benicio del Toro would be great to work with. I mean, there's a lot of great actors right now. You know who is an old friend and I saw her recently, is Natasha Lyonne, I think she's doing good stuff.
There's so many. I could go down a big list. I've been lucky though, I've worked with amazing actors, amazing directors, on great projects, and if it all ended today I'd be grateful.
And what are you most excited for people to see in the second season?
Ooph. A lot. I'm excited for a lot. I think this season is better than the first season and that's saying a lot because I really think the first season was good TV, good cinema.
But this season, I think we get a grasp on it even more than we had last season. So I'm excited for people to see stuff, I'm excited to see stuff.
For me, outside of myself, I'm excited to see this connection between Beth and Rip, where that comes from, and we get to explore a bit of that, so I'm excited to see that.
Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 1, "A Thundering," premieres Wednesday, June 19 on Paramount Network with a simulcast on CMT. Don't miss it, and be here for a full review of the premiere right after!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.