‘Yellowstone’ TV: Everything to Know About ‘Jimmy’ Actor Jefferson White

by Kayla Zadel
Photo Credit: Yellowstone Gallery, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom

To fans of “Yellowstone,” Jefferson White is Jimmy Hurdstrom. White plays a character that doesn’t necessarily look the part, but grows on you starting in season one. Furthermore, he’s part of perhaps one of the most shocking scenes that opens the series. We see Jimmy receive the Yellowstone Y-brand on his chest.

Spoiler alert – we’re not sure where the fate of White’s “Yellowstone” character lies as we literally see him lying in the dirt as season three comes to a close. As we wait to find out what happens to Jimmy, we can learn more about the talented actor that plays the ranch hand.

Jefferson White, the Educated Man

White grew up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, acting in high school plays and participating in the school speech team and choir.

Interestingly enough, White is actually connected to Kevin Costner in more ways than one. His home state is quite significant when it comes to Costner’s iconic film “Field of Dreams.”

Little did White know that one day he would be starring alongside the film’s leading man and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

Kevin [Costner] is just a sort of invincible, indomitable, creative spirit who is a real inspiration both as an actor – he’s a brilliant actor – but also as a person,” White said to Iowa State University in an interview. “He knows I’m from Iowa, he loves ‘Field of Dreams,’ and he loves Iowa and has a relationship with it because of that movie.”

White went to Iowa State University and graduated in 2012. After earning his degree, the aspiring actor was accepted into an apprenticeship program in Kentucky.

“Iowa State taught me how to act,” White also said to ISU. “It gave me the tools to learn and also just made me fall in love with acting, with theatre, with community, and with collaboration.” 

White’s Big Acting Break

In addition to Yellowstone, White has been around the acting block a time or two. Further, he’s even nabbed roles on some pretty well-known TV shows.

For example, “The Americans” is listed as his first IMDB credit. This hit TV show is also followed up by “Manhattan,” “House of Cards,” “The Alienist: Angel of Darkness,” and “Blindspot” just to name a few.

Jefferson’s Life-Changing Role

However, it wasn’t until he got the call to audition for the Paramount TV series that he felt like his life changed.

White was actually in Budapest for the filming of “The Alienist” when he got the call from his agent. White was asked to audition for the “Yellowstone” role. Conversely, he ended up flying to Utah for the audition and met with the show’s creator Taylor Sheridan.

Jefferson Joins ‘Yellowstone’

White booked the role of Jimmy Hurdstrom on the hit tv series. His character is somewhat orphan-like and he gets adopted by the Yellowstone Ranch. As part of his initiation, though, Jimmy gets the hot branding iron of the Yellowstone brand. It’s a painful price to join the club. However, it’s something that he’s willing to do instead of the alternative, which is going to jail.

Jimmy is someone that you want to cheer for during the series. He’s also a character that truly grows as the show progresses.

‘Yellowstone’ Makes a Man out of White

Believe it or not, White had never been on a horse before he booked the role of Jimmy Hurdstrom on the western drama.

“It was a big shock man. I didn’t know that people actually wore cowboy boots…you know what I mean? People really wear them! I thought it was like a cartoon thing you know? And it’s not,” White said, according to Wide Open Country.

“People really wear those boots and those hats… I had never ridden a horse before I don’t think I had ever touched a horse before and that also speaks to how sort of remarkable the wranglers are that work on our show because they got me trained up.”

It’s kind of hard to believe as we watch Jimmy develop into a ranch hand. He even builds up enough confidence to become a bronc rider. However, the help of stunt coordinator Jason Rodriguez was enlisted to develop the actors into the characters that they were cast to play.

As a matter of fact, White even provides comic relief on and off the screen. Rodriguez dishes on working with the actor.

“I would say in the first two seasons, Jimmy was the comedy relief in the action stuff that happens to him,” he said.

We might not know the fate of White’s character, but until then, read why White believes season four is going to be the “best season yet.”