‘Yellowstone’ Star Gil Birmingham Talks the Realities of Kayce’s Vision Quest

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Paramount Network)

During season four, Yellowstone showed Kayce having visions, and the Gil Birmingham character Thomas Rainwater helped. This season, Kayce tried to gain a better understanding of the sightings. It wasn’t a real wolf, these were visions. So, he went on a traditional Vision Quest.

Now, Taylor Sheridan is a stickler for getting things right. So, of course, Yellowstone was going to do this Vision Quest the right way. Now Kayce didn’t know what was happening. He was told by Thomas Rainwater and Mo that there was a deeper meaning. Many times, wolves can be a sign of inner troubles or self-destruction.

However, the way Kayce saw it, the wolves were protecting him. Watching over him. He had to get to the bottom of things. So, he went about performing a Haŋblečeya.

“Haŋblečeya is a very real thing and we were very respectful and specific about the way it was portrayed,” Yellowstone‘s Gil Birmingham explained. “Those are real things and they’re healing things and they speak to the culture in a way of healing and I think that’s what Taylor [Sheridan] intended to incorporate in the storyline.”

If you are going to have a white dude go on a Vision Quest, then it has to be done right. Yellowstone was able to do it in a respectful and serious way. Perhaps that goes hand-in-hand with the “daunting” task that Gil Birmingham has to undertake with his role on the show.

“It feels like you have to get to the heart of the character and the connection that he has to his people,” the actor said. “Maybe not so much on Hell or High Water, but definitely in Wind River and definitely in Yellowstone.”

‘Yellowstone’ Actor Gil Birmingham Has ‘Daunting’ Task

The weight of the character is not lost on Yellowstone actor Gil Birmingham. He knows that the role he plays on the show has serious responsibility. To represent Native people and to focus on real-life issues that Indigenous communities face.

“That’s a bigger breadth in terms of the representation. So, yeah, I learn something all the time. And dealing with subject matter like we did in Season 2, with the missing and murders of indigenous women, you know, these are powerful subject matters to write about and to represent. It feels like a responsibility. I guess that’s the keyword I would say I feel about it.”

Gil Birmingham and Mo Brings Plenty are two actors that take their roles very seriously. You will only get the best out of these two. With a new season of Yellowstone, fans are going to be treated to a fifth season. So, the story of the Duttons, Broken Rock Reservation, and everything else is going to continue. We can’t wait.