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Beth Dutton
Image via IMDb/Emmerson Miller/Paramount

‘Yellowstone’ star Kelly Reilly talks becoming Beth Dutton ahead of the season 5 premiere

Beth Dutton is a powerhouse, no matter how you feel about her choices.

Yellowstone is kicking off its new season with a two-hour premiere tonight, and one of the powerhouse players in the Dutton family is on everyone’s mind. Kelly Reilly’s Beth Dutton is a complex character; she knows there’s an incredible depth to playing her. 

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In a chat with the Los Angeles Times, Reilly says that as she read about Beth as a character, she could feel her pulse rising; something on the pages in front of her evoked excitement. 

“Taylor writes women with great love, but with great complexity. They are unapologetic. Men are never written as strong male characters. They’re just themselves. It was that attitude and energy that Taylor wrote in Beth and all of her toxic fabulousness. As an actor, it got my blood up. As a woman, it got me intrigued. There’s a recklessness in her that I find exciting. It was a quality that did not come easy for me. How do you play a woman like that and also get people on her side? If you just hate or disregard her, I have not done my job properly.”

While some characters dislike Beth, most of them admire her, even if she has flaws. The most interesting characters on television aren’t just good or evil; they’re somewhere in the grey area that allows us space to love them, even as they make decisions that leave audiences screaming at the television screen. 

However, if you expect Reilly to be like Beth in her real life, you’ll be sorely disappointed. 

“My life could not be more removed from the world of Beth, but people really do think I’m her. In a coffee shop, they’ll say, ‘Hi, Beth.’ I’ve been acting since I was 17 years old, and I’ve never had a character that has been this strong in flavor and gotten such a passionate response. It’s horrifying and exciting, depending on the day.”

She continues by saying that she drops the “Beth-itude” as soon as the cameras stop rolling but that she enjoys that people are so in love with the character that they hope to see Beth in Reilly. 

“I actually think it’s better if they don’t know anything about me so I can fully inhabit and disappear and people can think she’s real. In a weird way, I like that.”

Much like the audiences who watch Beth and hope to be like her, Reilly says that there are moments when she wishes she had more of what Beth does. She doesn’t always agree with her decisions, but she understands the powerhouse of a woman that she is. The vulnerability of Beth and the strength are so vastly different, but they still exist in one woman, in the one character.

“They’re the same character. But in different circumstances, who does she reveal? People talk about the angry woman, the sensitive woman, the emotional woman. I have all of those women in me. Beth is a force of nature, so with that comes an incredible amount of adrenaline. An energy rushes through my body and mind. It’s like getting into a sports car or riding a thoroughbred. There is something more powerful than you, and you better hold on. I don’t always agree with her. Some of the time, I do. Sometimes I wish I could have more of what she has.”

As season five debuts in just over an hour, we’re admiring every character we love and hoping that Beth sees more of the brighter side this season, even in the heaviness that looks to be headed to destroy our favorite family. 

Here’s to Yellowstone. May this season be a treat for us all, after it kicks off on Paramount tonight at 8pm. 

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Ashley Marie
Ashley Marie is a staff writer, beat leader, Disney fanatic, and Yellowstone expert. When she's not filling her friends in on all the entertainment news they can handle, she's drinking her go-to Starbucks order — a caramel macchiato, thank you — and wishing she was at Disney World or spending time at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. With a focus on positivity and kindness in journalism, Ashley has been writing for a decade and hopes to keep bringing you articles for decades to come.