‘Yellowstone’ Star Jefferson White Describes Jimmy as an Outsider

by Liz Holland

“Yellowstone” star Jefferson White relates to his character Jimmy more than you might think. 

As fans gear up for the Season 4 finale, White opens up about how he relates to his character. And what’s more, why “Yellowstone” viewers seem to connect with him so much. Some have even referred to Jimmy as the heart of the show. There’s no denying he’s certainly one of the most likable characters. 

Jimmy was a young man constantly getting into trouble until his grandfather asked John Dutton to take him in. A drug dealer and a thief, Jimmy certainly had his work cut out for him working as a ranch hand. “Yellowstone” showed Jimmy a whole new world. Jefferson White elaborates on this in an intimate interview with Entertainment Tonight. The actor says of his character Jimmy, “He’s new to this world too.” 

Romanticizing The American West, And What It’s Like To Be An Outsider

White describes the “Yellowstone” views as “romantic,” “sweeping,” and “idyllic,” pointing out that many have this romanticized idea of the American West. According to White, it’s a big reason why people connect with the show, as it really captures the legend of the American west so many people imagine. “It’s this kind of epic world… I think people really connect to that,” he says. The actor continues,  “And then Jimmy’s so new to it, it’s a world that Jimmy is just learning about, and just sort of trying to find his footing in, so I think in some ways he becomes a bit of a audience stand-in.”

White says Jimmy’s “outsider” status is a huge reason why he relates to his character. “For me, that’s been my experience with Jimmy, is that I’ve been learning about this world, this culture, this community, alongside him. That’s a way in which I’ve connected to him from the beginning. We’re both sort of outsiders looking in, and outsiders desperately trying to fit into this world. In a lot of ways [we’re similar]. Largely in that we’re both just sort of learning and doing our best to learn from everyone around us,” he explains. 

“Yellowstone” Star is Surrounded By the Greats

Being surrounded by modern western acting legends has undeniably been a helpful part of White’s progress on the show. “That’s certainly been the case for Jimmy from the beginning. He’s new to this. He’s desperately watching Rip, Lloyd, John Dutton, trying to pick up everything he can. That’s absolutely the case for me on the show, too. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such brilliant actors who I’ve admired for so long,” White says.

He adds, “In the same way that Jimmy’s learning from those characters, I’m looking to Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler on the show). Learning from Cole Hauser, learning from Kelly Reilly, learning from Kevin Costner every chance I get. So the same way that Jimmy looks up to these characters and sort of aspires to earn their respect, I feel exactly the same way on set.”