‘Yellowstone’ Star Gil Birmingham Explains Why He Trusted Taylor Sheridan on ‘Wind River’ and Beyond

by Courtney Blackann

“Yellowstone” isn’t the first set Thomas Rainwater aka Gil Birmingham has worked with the esteemed writer Taylor Sheridan. He’s known the film creator for years. Birmingham has even worked with Sheridan on the mystery thriller “Wind River.” And the actor has a lot to say about why he trusts Sheridan.

Speaking with Jefferson White on the Yellowstone Official Podcast, Birmingham dished on everything about Thomas Rainwater, his history in the film business and working with Taylor Sheridan. He’s come to know the western series creator as well as appreciate his methods.

He shares his thoughts about working with Sheridan and how he ‘trusts’ his actors to do their job.

“But the project, you know, really highlighted, even beyond “Sicario” with Taylor, and you know, that’s when I came to understand Taylor and the way he writes. And then I was so thrilled to be brought back on “Wind River” – another incredible project. And yeah, I think most of our time collaborating and filming has come at the time of “Yellowstone.” Because we have a little more time, a little more episodes,” Birmingham relates.

He also adds:

We have a longer duration. And after four years, I think Taylor is just so specific about the actors that he casts. And he lets them do the work. He does the layout, he does the writing and he trusts his actors.”

Gil Birmingham on “Yellowstone” Character

And it’s a good thing he puts so much trust in them. Perfectly cast, “Yellowstone” tells an intriguing story of life, love and loss. It’s beautifully shot amid the Montana mountains. And each character has their own unique way of connecting to viewers.

Further, Thomas Rainwater does this as well. Sometimes a villain, sometimes a hero, you never know what your opinion is going to be of the reservation leader. He’s usually an enemy to John Dutton, but we see things shift from black and white to gray. And then he’s John Dutton’s ally. Ahead of season four, Birmingham discussed his character and how he would transition into more of a leader.

“Well, Thomas Rainwater will be challenged with some gray areas, in terms of a moral decision that has to be made, and in trying to stay focused on finding alliances that can help him achieve his goal of acquiring the land back,” the actor says. “We also get to dig into some cultural ceremony of healing, that I hope the public will enjoy and get informed by.”

“Yellowstone” has wrapped for now, but there will be a season five hopefully coming soon. (We seriously hope we don’t have to wait another year and a half.) Fans can rewatch their favorite moments from the series on Peacock.