In some films or TV series, the writers and actors know upfront what a certain character’s arc will look like. In other cases, things are up in the air until the script sits in that actor’s hand. That seems to be the case for Jefferson White, who talked with Screenrant about recent, stressful cliffhangers in “Yellowstone.”
Screenrant asked White if he had any idea that Jimmy’s arc would bring him to this point in Season 4. If fans will remember, Jimmy Hurdstrom started out as a bumbling cowboy who had no clue what he was doing. But after spending Season 4 on the Four-Sixes Ranch in Texas, Jimmy finally learned what it means to be a true cowboy. He set off into the sunset with his fiancee, Emily, leaving his old life at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch behind.
But even looking ahead to Season 5, White has no idea what to expect.
“It’s been a series of cliffhangers for me,” Jefferson White shared. “There’s been a couple times where I’ve read a script that ended with ‘Jimmy lies face-down in the dirt, motionless.'”
That specifically occurred during the “Yellowstone” Season 3 finale, when Jimmy got bucked off a horse and fell unconscious to the ground. But how do White and the other cast members deal with the suspense?
‘Yellowstone’ Star Jefferson White Talks About ‘Trust’ When it Comes to Cliffhangers
“Making any art, making any sort of creative project, is a real exercise in trust,” White revealed. “You’re putting a lot of trust in your collaborators. In our case, we’re all putting a lot of trust in Taylor Sheridan. And he has lived up to and exceeded our trust over and over and over again. He’s a brilliant, brilliant writer.”
White continued to praise Sheridan’s skill in not only writing the show but bringing everything together.
“I learned a long time ago, pretty early on, that trying to guess what he’s gonna do next is a futile exercise,” he continued. “Because what he comes up with is so much richer, so much fuller, so much more interesting and curious than anything I could’ve guessed. And he’s kinda kept surprising me over the course of the last four years.”
Sheridan has surprised all of us as well. From shocking deaths to sudden reveals to that crazy Season 3 finale, we’ve learned not to expect or predict anything.
“So, it’s been an incredible journey just trying to keep up with what Taylor writes,” White continued. “I think a lot of us are in that position of putting all this trust in Taylor because he’s incredible. He’s one of the best writers in the history of television or film. I think he’s really amazing. And it’s our job to just try to hold on to this incredible bucking bronco that is his imagination.”
When it comes to Season 5, however, Jefferson White doesn’t delude himself into thinking Jimmy’s safe from harm.
“I’ve felt really lucky that it’s brought Jimmy up to this point, but I also don’t labor under any delusions that Jimmy’s future is certain or secure in any way,” White concluded. “Because that’s the west, that’s life. That’s the brutal world of Yellowstone. Nothing is certain. So, I’m trying to hold on a few more days. That’s all you can do. All you can do is try to hold onto the horse that’s right in front of you.”