Lainey Wilson Talks About Learning to Act for Her Role on ‘Yellowstone’

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/WireImage via Getty Images)

It has already been a huge year for Lainey Wilson. She’s been clawing her way to the top of the country music world for over a decade. Now, all of those years of paying dues are paying off. She was named Breakout Artist of the Year at the CMT Awards. Her new album Bell Bottom Country is getting praise from fans and critics alike. Wilson was up for six trophies at this year’s CMA Awards and took home two of them. She’s officially CMA’s Female Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year. Last night the Louisiana native made her acting debut on the season premiere of Yellowstone.

Lainey Wilson plays Abby in the new season of Yellowstone. The character is a country singer from Louisiana. “I pretty much get to be myself. I get to wear my bell bottoms, I get to be me, I get to talk with an accent, I get to sing my songs,” Wilson said of the role. She was even able to create Abby’s backstory. “I was given very little character description and so I kind of made up some things in my own mind,” she said. “Where is she from? Of course, she’s going to sound like this and where’s someone who sounds like this from? Louisiana.”

That doesn’t mean she gets to show up on the set and ad-lib, though. The “Things a Man Oughta Know” singer had to memorize her lines and learn to dig into the emotion of the scenes she’s in. That wasn’t easy for the first-time actress. “It’s scary,” she admitted. “I feel like a fish out of water.”

Lainey Wilson on the Hardest Part of Her Yellowstone Role

According to CMT, Lainey Wilson has a hard time remembering lyrics to songs she didn’t write. So, memorizing her lines for Yellowstone was a challenge. Then, she had to figure out how to deliver those lines. “If I just learn my lines, there’s got to be an emotion that’s connected to it. I have to be in the moment. So, if I’m reading lines back and forth, I need it to sound just like me and you are having a conversation,” she said. “That’s hard. It’s really, really hard. But, I love it. I’m having a lot of fun.”

Lainey Wilson says that stepping outside of her comfort zone is important. “What’s the point of doing all this if I’m not pushing limits? If I’m not doing things that are a little bit uncomfortable, I wouldn’t be growing anymore.”

It seems that Lainey Wilson is doing fine on set, though. During her first day of filming, Kelly Reilly told her, “Had you not told me that this was your first time, I’d been thinking you’d been doing it forever.”