Some say life imitates art, and I suppose that’s true for “Yellowstone” as well. Kelly Reilly recently compared the plot points on “Yellowstone” to real-life issues happening in Montana, and in a way, she’s right.
Season five is going to be rife with enemies for the Duttons, more-so than previous seasons. A lot of those enemies are billionaires looking to stake their own plot of land in the West. In conversation with Vulture, Kelly Reilly spoke about those who come to Montana looking to build and gentrify and take over.
“And they’re coming. They’re infringing,” she said, commenting on the number of adversaries coming at the Duttons. But then she turned the conversation to something real. “It’s like what is really happening in Montana,” she explained. “It is being bought up by billionaires. People come here because they love what I just showed you, but they’re going to destroy it because they come here.”
There’s a sense of wanting to live like the Duttons when people move to Montana and Wyoming and places like that. According to a study by MSU Billings, per SFGATE, home prices in Missoula, Montana increased 20.5 percent in 2021, with 75 percent of real estate agents dealing with a majority of buyers from California. Additionally, the median price of a home in Bozeman went up 25 percent that year. Montana residents have a specific issue with Californians moving to their state, particularly with cash buyers snatching up homes left and right. They’re pushing the locals out of their own cities.
‘Yellowstone’ Star Kelly Reilly Talks Billionaires Moving to Montana, and the Effect on the Land
Housing prices in the cities aside, Kelly Reilly mentioned the detrimental effects on the land. “The amount of cement, and building, and taking from the land. Where’s the water going to be cleared for the sewage? What is the effect on the environment?” she said. She compared this real-life issue with those on “Yellowstone,” saying, “They can’t protect it without playing dirty. I mean, I quote Beth’s lines all the time because I love them: ‘His dream is the Alamo that I will die defending.'”
But, you can’t really talk about the Montana housing market and the effects of rich people moving there without calling to mind the direct impact that “Yellowstone” has had. Wealthy people watch the show, and they want that life. And, they have the means to get it. So, they purchase wide swaths of land in the middle of nowhere, and they build. People who live in Montana do so because they want to get away from great crowds of people, but that’s just what “Yellowstone” has brought to the state.
“Yellowstone” has brought in a lot of wealth economically to Montana, but it’s taking away from some of its environmental wealth in a roundabout way: by inspiring rich people to move out West and live like the Duttons.