For its Emmy consideration, Yellowstone will submit Lainey Wilson’s “Smell Like Smoke” in the outstanding music and lyrics category. Wilson’s acting career began when she debuted as a musician, Abby, on the Season 5 premiere of Taylor Sheridan’s hit Neo Western, and her song “Smell Like Smoke” is featured in episode 3. Wilson recently told Variety that the song “centers around four pillars that make ‘Yellowstone’ what it is. Cowboys, heartbreak, self-assurance, and faith.”
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The song was a collaborative effort between Wilson, Monty Criswell, Derek George and Lynn Hutton. “Derek came up with the signature guitar lick at the beginning of the song and tracked the original demo, while Monty and I fiddled around with lyrics and Lynn steered the melodies,” Wilson told the outlet.
“If I smell like smoke, it’s only cause I’ve been through hell” was the first line that got the song started. “It was a little rough around the edges, but with good energy, which we thought was perfect for ‘Yellowstone,’” Wilson added.
Wilson believed that the track encapsulated the life of both Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Monica Dutton (Kelsey Asbille).“We thought a song about owning tough times in a proud, matter-of-fact, light-hearted way would tie in well with the way the show makes the down-and-dirty look sexy and fun,” Wilson explained.
Lainey Wilson got the ‘Yellowstone’ call back in February 2022
In February 2022, Wilson received a call from showrunner and creator Taylor Sheridan offering her a role. “[Sheridan] asked what I thought about him creating a character for me. He said I’d play a musician and could wear all my crazy clothes and sing my songs, but I’d go by the name ‘Abby,’” Wilson recalled. “He knew I hadn’t done much acting, but I told him I’d been actin’ a fool my whole life so I was up for the challenge.”
Meanwhile, Lainey Wilson also had to lay down the law in a scene. When her character Abby locked lips with Ian Bohen’s dreamy cowboy, Ryan, it was her first onscreen kiss. Wilson recently opened up about the stress involved with the small screen smooch on Taste of Country’s Dutton Rules: A Yellowstone 1923 Podcast.
“He clearly knew this was my first rodeo and I knew it was not his,” Wilson explained on the podcast. Before their on-screen kiss, the singer-turned-actor was overwhelmed by all of the technical instructions. She wasn’t certain if they should arrange a plan or simply not mention it at all. “I did lay some ground rules. I was like, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do this, and don’t do this.’ And he was like, ‘Whatever makes you feel comfortable,'” Wilson recalled.
Despite Bohen’s pro attitude, there was still one rule Wilson had to stress. “I was like, ‘Do not put your tongue in my mouth.’ I told him that. Do not do that,” she joked. Bohen complied, and the kiss felt sincere. Wilson confessed she had been quite anxious during filming; nevertheless, her fear never showed on camera. “[Bohen] made me so comfortable,” she continued. “It wasn’t like a real-life kiss.”