When it came time to feature the big ‘Dutton Interview from the Ranch’ ahead of Yellowstone Season 5, Paramount called on The Hollywood Reporter. THR‘s Senior Awards Analyst, Scott Feinberg, sits in the chair across from the main five protagonists of television’s biggest show: Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, and Luke Grimes.
Given his title, it should come as no surprise that many of Feinberg’s questions hang on the “late blooming” of Yellowstone as an awards contender. Season 3 did exceptionally well, but Season 4 took off like a rocket – taking over the country from coast to coast and breaking multiple television records (on cable during the era of streaming, no less). And Kevin Costner does his best do mediate and give fair answers to Feinberg’s “why’d it take so long?” inquiries.
‘It’s easy to be popular, but it’s hard to be relevant’
“It’s easy to be popular, but it’s hard to be relevant,” Costner replies to Feinberg’s request to “explain” the show’s later successes.
“I think Taylor [Sheridan] chose to be relevant to himself and this world,” the John Dutton icon continues. “What I will say about this is: Running horses, rivers that flow, mountains that are here will never be something that people tire of.”
But for those of us who come from that “grassroots” audience, as Rip Wheeler’s Cole Hauser interjects, Yellowstone isn’t a new phenomenon. Local Boot Barns have been chock-full of Dutton Ranch merch for years. Those of us who raise cattle and wear cowboy boots unironically have been on board since the early seasons. The show is Outsider to its core (outside of all the murder, of course). For us, Yellowstone‘s not just a damn entertaining show, but one that resonates with us; people who very much still exist.
Cole Hauser grew up on a ranch and loves this American way of life, too, and as his knees bob in his chair, he’s driven to respond fully to Feinberg’s assessment. And it is priceless.
Cole Hauser Goes All In Championing ‘Yellowstone’s ‘Grassroots’ Origins Against Hollywood Elite
“You’ve got to remember this, and I said this to you earlier,” Hauser interjects with Rip’s signature bravado. “We started as a grassroots show. And that means you have a core audience that really follows you. Falls in love with you. They start talking. We’ve slowly made our way to the edges of this country, where now you guys are showing up,” he smiles, motioning to Feinberg (who laughs it off). “You know what I’m saying?”
“So the thing is, We’ve always [had our audience]. Luke [Grimes] and I would roll around Park City, Salt Lake City, wherever we were to have fun, and people were coming up – they loved this show three years ago, four years ago. It was never [lacking], it’s just that it’s finally getting recognition from you all,” Hauser laughs, pointing again to Feinberg.
“My apologies for taking so long,” Feinberg smiles to an “Eh!” from Hauser.
“You’ve got to be nice when they come!” Beth Dutton’s Kelly Reilly quips back at Hauser as the cast shares a chuckle. And it is all in good fun. Hauser is a gentleman about it, and offers up a high-five to Feinberg, who is also a good sport. Especially after being Rip Roasted so thoroughly.
But in the end, it’s not only rewarding and charming to see Costner and Hauser defend Yellowstone‘s grassroots audience. It’s also important. “Murder Incorporated” elements aside (as Costner jokingly refers to the “theatrical” aspect of the show), Yellowstone offers a powerful glimpse into the core of what makes America America, for better or worse. The farmers and ranchers that feed us being the better. And the struggles and tragic history of taking Indigenous lands to do so being the worse.
Catch the full 30-minute interview via Yellowstone‘s YouTube special above. Cole Hauser, Kevin Costner, and Kelly Reilly return for Season 5 on Paramount Network this November 13.