Yellowstone actor Jefferson White explained why the fan backlash towards Mia proved the actress did her job. Mia, played by Eden Brolin, was the girlfriend of White’s character, Jimmy. She encouraged him to pursue a rodeo career against his boss’s wishes. However, season four not only saw them break up, but it also saw Jimmy finding love with his fiancee Emily.
“You know, it’s interesting,” White said. “I think it speaks to how good an actor Eden Brolin is, who plays Mia. And it really also speaks to, I think, [series creator Taylor Sheridan] has created a very difficult situation for Jimmy, right? Jimmy’s boss – John Dutton, Kevin Costner – has paid his medical bills and given him this ultimatum, and it puts Jimmy in the position of having to choose between what he wants to do with his life, like his greatest dream, and his responsibility to his employer. You know, Mia says to Jimmy, ‘Don’t be another one of that rich man’s cattle,’ and I think that represents a decision that we’re all faced with all the time: choosing between what we want to do – our own desires, our dreams, our hopes for ourselves – and the necessity of employment.”
Additionally, the actor explained how Mia’s role in the show is to emphasize the internal conflict felt by Jimmy. As a result, her poor reception by fans is actually what Sheridan intended.
“So I think if people get mad at Mia, it’s in part because she’s just articulating this incredibly difficult position that Jimmy finds himself in, that we all find ourselves in,” explained White. “Which is: how do you choose? How do you choose between what you want your dream your greatest aspiration? For Jimmy in Season 3, it was to be a rodeo star, and when your boss tells you you can’t… If your boss told you you couldn’t do what you dream of doing anymore, it makes a difficult decision.”
He then praised Brolin further: “And unfortunately, Eden Brolin in that conversation is going up against Kevin Costner, which is a hard fight to win, but she holds her own. Eden Brolin is an incredible actor, and I think the arguments she makes are incredibly compelling.”
Yellowstone Actor Jefferson White Talks Fan Reactions
White also discussed how fans of Yellowstone interact with him on the street.
“I get a lot of ‘SHUT THE F*** UP JIMMY’ from across the street,” said White. “I’ll be walking down the street in Texas and just hear ‘SHUT THE F*** UP JIMMY,’ so I give them the thumbs up and keep going.”
Of course, this is how Jimmy is addressed by the ranch foreman Rip Wheeler. While some may not appreciate being cursed at, White is proud of his work on Yellowstone. However, he is quick to credit his costars for its success.
“We’re so blessed to have so many incredible actors on the show,” he says. “Kevin (Costner) is obviously a legend and a genius, but we’re also lucky in that we have five more movie stars at the top of our call sheet. We have such an incredible ensemble cast. I love working with Cole Hauser, I love working with Forrie J. Smith, I love working with Ryan Bingham. I really love working with Eden Brolin, who plays Mia. I really love working with Denim Richards and Ian Bohen, who play Colby and Ryan. This season, Season 4, I really had a tremendous time working with Kat Kelly, who plays Emily. It’s impossible to choose. We’re so lucky to have such a rich and full ensemble cast.”