Interview with Gil Birmingham: Yellowstone Season 4
Yellowstone star Gil Birmingham discusses the new dynamic Thomas Rainwater is playing with in Season 4 and the importance of Indigenous portrayal.
Yellowstone Return for its fourth season on November 7, with the first 2 episodes airing on the Paramount network at 8 / 7c. Last year’s finale ended on a dark note, with the declaration of all-out war against the Duttons and several family members targeted for assassination. The first episodes, “Half the Money” and “Phantom Pain”, will count the losses and open the door to the great mystery of who wants blood.
Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham, Mermaid), casino mogul and leader of the Broken Rock Reservation, has been hoping for some time to retake the Yellowstone Ranch in order to resume with his lost ancestors. But even he’s not a fan of the recent particularly brutal methods of winning over the Duttons, so it will be interesting for fans to see how he deals with the new issues in town. Will he partner with John (Kevin Costner, Let him go) against an unknown evil or leave it to itself?
Birmingham spoke to Screen cry about the new dynamic that awaits Thomas and the cast in general, as well as why he feels fortunate to play complex roles imbued with respectful Indigenous representation.
Screen Rant: Thomas is probably one of the Duttons’ toughest opponents, but they also have a lot of mutual respect. What is his reaction to the events of last season’s finale, and where is he going at the start of the season?
Gil Birmingham: Well, you’ll have to look and find out.
There are a lot of new players and a lot of mystery surrounding the events. Are there new interactions for you that you are eager to see fans, or new directions for your character?
Gil Birmingham: Without giving too much away – because it’s a huge cliffhanger, and you have to see who survived it. But things to do continue and we introduce other corporate forces. We have Jacki Weaver playing a fantastic role and Piper Perabo. We have great guest stars.
But the story continues, and we’ll see what happens.
Looking back, what was the most difficult or rewarding part of portraying Thomas Rainwater for you?
Gil Birmingham: Everything is determined by the writing, and it has a lot to do with my coming on board. This is my third project with [creator Taylor Sheridan], so I have such faith and confidence in him. And I know he has great compassion for indigenous people, so it’s been wonderful to really step into a world that he created with very respectful representation. I just feel very blessed.
You have been very determined to portray various complex Indigenous roles in stories that allow room for nuance and insight in different communities. Where would you like to see that level of representation go next, or what are you hoping for on a larger scale?
Gil Birmingham: For the native community – the community of actors has always struggled, since I started my career – to be more represented in the media. We are making great progress; there seem to be waves. We had Dances With Wolves, which was a big milestone. If we can get more content and include indigenous peoples, then there will be a culture that will be represented in a world that knows so little about it.
And that’s what I’m really proud of this last season, because we’re going to get into some really special representations of the culture that will educate people but also entertain them.
You mentioned that you previously worked with Taylor Sheridan. What brings you back to him? Do you both have a shortcut or a unified vision?
Gil Birmingham: That’s a very good question. I mean, I just love the man, and I think he’s just a brilliant writer. So if he invites me, I don’t think about it. I trust him so much.
Finally, is there a costar that you really enjoy having scenes with this season?
Gil Birmingham: Jacki Weaver. She is marvellous.
I don’t know how the editing will go, but I did a scene with Kelly [Reilly]. We’ve been begging for a scene together since we started, and I’m not sure how that will fit into the story, but it was a real blast.
More: The 10 Best Episodes Of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Season 4 premieres November 7 at 8 p.m. / 7 p.m. on the Paramount Network.
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