‘Yellowstone’: Kelly Reilly Explains How Playing Beth Dutton Is Her ‘Most Challenging Role’

by Lauren Boisvert

Kelly Reilly is undoubtedly a powerhouse as Beth Dutton on “Yellowstone,” and we love her for it. But, being that fierce and dangerous all the time is a challenge, and Reilly has said before that it took her some time to really find Beth. Recently, she spoke about the journey that she took to get to Beth, including the fact that she initially didn’t think she landed the role. She also spoke about how much of a challenge it is to portray this character, and how she approaches her.

“I kept to myself the first couple of years, just sort of hid in the role, mostly just to convince myself that I could pull it off,” she explained to The Wrap recently. Back in January, she spoke with Jefferson White on the “Yellowstone” podcast about how she didn’t speak to anyone on-set for nearly two years because she was trying to perfect her accent.

“I hardly spoke to anybody,” she said on the podcast. “It’s not about breaking character. You hear those stories about actors staying in their dialect off-camera. I would admire them, but I’d feel like an idiot speaking [to the cast and crew] in my American accent. I couldn’t make peace with that, it’s just bananas. So it was easier to just not talk, and not let anyone know me for about two seasons.”

As for how she approached Beth, Reilly spoke to The Wrap about another famously conniving woman. “I approached her like Lady Macbeth,” she explained, “but the amount of color I get to play with her is, as an actor, a real gift. Beth is the most challenging role I’ve ever had to play.”

Kelly Reilly On How She Approaches Beth Dutton on ‘Yellowstone,’ and Why She Didn’t Initially Think She Could Do It

Still speaking with The Wrap, Kelly Reilly shared that she didn’t think she had the role of Beth locked down when she auditioned. “I didn’t think that it was in the bag,” she admitted. “I figured every actor would want this part.” But, as she explained, “I had such an intense reaction to the role. And Taylor Sheridan’s writing I just find so exciting and dangerous, and I responded to it emotionally.”

It turns out, that emotional response was just what she needed to impress Taylor Sheridan. In January, she spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the process, even sharing that she didn’t know quite what Sheridan saw in her.

“It took me a while to really find [Beth],” said Reilly. “When I first met [Taylor Sheridan] I hadn’t found her yet, so I’m not sure what he saw. I do remember having a wobble moment where I thought ‘I’m not sure I’m gonna be able to pull this off.’ Because it is such a tremendously complicated role. I wasn’t sure if I was the right person for it. […] So that audition, and just what he saw in me I have no idea,” she admitted. “But I do remember once I got it, I got it.”