‘Yellowstone’ Star Gil Birmingham Says Thomas Rainwater Knows He Can’t ‘Outfight’ John Dutton

by Courtney Blackann

It’s no secret that “Yellowstone’s” Thomas Rainwater and John Dutton often go head-to-head. It benefits them to sometimes be allies, but generally, the two hard headed leaders are fighting about something. And recently actor Gil Birmingham shares that he knows that he truly cannot outfight John Dutton.

Speaking in an interview with Jefferson White on the Yellowstone Official Podcast, Birmingham had some thoughts about his character’s relationship with John and how the two are constantly battling each other.

Jefferson White addresses the relationship and asks Birmingham to describe what is possibly “one of the most complicated relationships on the show. It changes so many times from scene to scene.”

Birmingham follows up by saying, “Yeah, it has. And from season to season. And I think the way I see Thomas, he has this understanding that he’s not going to be able to outfight John Dutton even though he has these pending forces trying to take the land. But culturally speaking, I was just reading John Trudell, a great Native poet. And it’s about thinking clearly and coherently, using our intelligence.”

The “Yellowstone” actor continues:

“So I think Thomas is approaching it in terms of out-thinking the forces. You’re not going to have the resources to go up against what John Dutton has. But we can make alliances and we can go up against the people that are just really – that want to…monetize the land. And neither one of us want that.”

“Yellowstone” Actor Appreciates Culture in Series

And while Thomas Rainwater and John Dutton form some alliances, the two worlds are still completely separate. And each of those have their own problems. But one thing that Gil Birmingham appreciates, is that Taylor Sheridan’s creation bring cultural aware to Native Americans as well as real issues plaguing American reservations.

In “Yellowstone,” we’ve several things that the reservations are suffering with – include poverty, kidnappings and poor education. Birmingham says this is a chance for people to learn.

“It’s raising the awareness of conditions, an epidemic, you know, disasters that have been happening on the reservations for quite some time,” Birmingham said. “I mean, historically, going back 400 years… to modern day. Taylor has incorporated these themes to inform people and entertain them, in the sense that it’s not a podium of any sort. But they’re serious issues that most people aren’t even aware of. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women just recently had a campaign this week [related] to that exact subject matter.”

“It’s critically important for Native people to be recognized as still being present,” Birmingham added. “You know, we’re not historical artifacts. And that these issues are very important for us and for society as a whole.”