It doesn’t take long for Yellowstone to let you know exactly what Gov. Lynelle Perry is all about. Besides the soft spot for John Dutton, her first appearances include a standoff with Beth Dutton and moving pieces to get Jamie into political office.
While the show then takes Perry’s relationship with the Duttons in several different directions. Whether she’s enjoying a sunset with John or contributing to the chess match, Yellowstone delivers Perry as someone, like John, who balances a harsh reality with their personal emotions.
But who is the woman behind Perry? Meet Wendy Moniz-Grillo, a veteran TV actress who has appeared on a wide variety of successful programs.
Hollywood Beginnings and Personal Life
Moniz-Grillo recently turned 52, with her birthday falling on January 19. She was 25-years-old back in 1995 when she got her first real break in acting. As Dinah Marler on soap opera Guiding Light she secured a regular role for nearly four years. While this wasn’t the first-ever interaction with TV, it was her proper debut.
During her time on Guiding Light she divorced her first husband, David Birsner, eventually wedding a co-star from the show, Frank Grillo. After nearly 20 years of marriage, she separated from Grillo after having two sons.
Roles You Would Recognize Wendy Moniz-Grillo
Before recognizing Moniz-Grillo as Gov. Perry, most TV fans likely recognize her as Laura Moretti in hit political drama House of Cards. Like most characters and storylines on the show, Moniz-Grillo finds herself in the midst of a depressing, sexy scandal. Getting involved with campaign manager Doug Stamper, Moniz-Grillo’s character was reoccurring in Seasons 4 and 5.
Further, fans might remember her role as Elaine McAllister on ABC program Betrayal as well as her part on Damages as Jill Burnham. As Burnham, Moniz-Grillo played a love interest of Michael Hewes, son of main character Patty. The character goes on to have Hewes’ child, but is arrested for having a relationship with the 17-year-old.
Moniz-Grillo Talks Yellowstone, John and Gov. Perry’s Relationship
Back in August of 2020, Moniz-Grillo sat down with MEAWW for an interview to talk all things Yellowstone. The actress goes into detail on the show and what fans could expect out of Season 4. However, it’s her question and answer about Gov. Perry’s relationship with John Dutton that is the golden nugget of info.
The publication asks if John and Perry will end up together, or even married. Perry gives an answer that is likely disappointing to most Yellowstone fans.
“You never know with Taylor’s unpredictable storytelling,” Moniz-Grillo begins. “But my instinct is that they will not get married. However, I think that they will remain in each other’s lives. They’re very connected to each other just because they’ve known each other for so long. And both were very much in love with their spouses who died. So they have this connection with regard to loss and they share a very unique kind of bond.
“When you throw in politics, they have a sort of chemistry in general. It’s a complicated combination of things that they have on their plate together as a couple. But, I mean, I hope they continue to have their dance the way they’ve been doing it this season because it’s been a lot of fun discovering that chemistry and working with Kevin in that way.”
While she doesn’t rule out the potential for Perry and John’s relationship to go further, she doesn’t exactly have high expectations. When asked a follow-up on her opinion, Moniz-Grillo says it’s Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan’s decision, and that she’s just speculating.
“I’m just guessing… I don’t know,” Moniz-Grillo starts. “This is all born from Taylor’s creative juices and, and like I said, anything could happen. I’m just an actor who’s reading between the lines and making the story. I only know what I know, he has the whole story in his head, but I feel like right now where they are, I don’t see a marriage on the cards as I feel they’ve been down that road before.
“But that doesn’t mean they can’t have romance and maybe, you know, continue to have their affection for each other deepen. But again, I’m not writing it. I’m just showing up and trying to tell the story through his words.”