It’s easy to be overshadowed on Yellowstone with the likes of Kevin Costner’s John Dutton waltzing about. As such, it’s a great testament to the show’s supporting cast that they continue to shine through in every episode. This is especially true of the bunkhouse boys, as well.
Ranch hands like Jimmy, Lloyd, Ryan, and Colby, make for every bit as entertaining-a-watch as the Duttons. And one in particular, played by Denim Richards, is a gently-spoken, unsung hero of the show.
Let’s fix that, shall we? Delve deep into the life & career of one of the show’s most charismatic actors with us as we uncover everything there is to know about Denim Richards.
Early Life of Denim Richards: Cowboy in the Making
Denim Richards, 32, was born August 10, 1988 and raised in Orange County, California. Growing up, he not only pursued acting, but singing and horseback riding, as well, setting the stage for his Yellowstone work early on.
Growing up, Richards would perform in concerts and musical theatre both locally and at school. In fact, Richards is a classically-trained vocalist, a skill he is very proud of. He would go on to transition to film in college, where he worked on and acted in short films. With this experience under his belt, Richards began booking background and supporting TV roles, and would continue to over the next decade.
His first true Hollywood role came courtesy of the Disney series Good Luck Charlie. Soon after, a recurring role in Freeform’s Good Trouble would see the actor gain considerable notoriety. It wouldn’t be until his casting in Yellowstone, however, that Denim Richards would know “true fame.”
- Good Trouble, as Elijah Adrieux (2019)
- Yellowstone, as Colby (2018-present)
- The Chickasaw Rancher, as Jack Brown (currently in post-production)
While named-roles are relatively new for Denim Richards in Hollywood, his true, charismatic talent leads us to believe he’ll be on our screens for a long time yet.
When Westerns Came a’Knockin’
Richards has now played ranch hand Colby on Yellowstone for three seasons. He is set to continue the role in the highly-anticipated Season 4, as well. As for joining the cast in the first place, Denim told his local Orange Coast that he found it a “convenient transition.” Why? He had just appeared in the aforementioned The Chickasaw Rancher, his first feature film – also a Western.
“I just filmed ‘Chickasaw Rancher,’ a period piece set around 1860, where I played a real-life cowboy named Jack Brown,” Richards begins. “So when they sent me the (lines) for my character, Colby, in ‘Yellowstone,’ it was easy for me to prepare for the role. I felt like I was playing Jack Brown’s great-great-grandson.”
Richards’ youth was spent riding horses also had him feeling doubly-prepared for both roles. Yet nothing, he says, could’ve prepared him for working with Hollywood icon Kevin Costner.
“Working with Kevin Costner was excellent. It’s a great opportunity to work with somebody who was at the top of his game for so many decades in the entertainment business,” he continues to OC. “I feel I gained 20 years of experience being able to just be around him.”
Moreover, Richards says that Yellowstone has been a unique experience because of the equality he feels on set. Unlike many other high-profile projects in Hollywood, the actor says that everyone treats their peers as equals on Taylor Sheridan’s smash hit. As a result, the cast has become incredibly close while filming in Montana and beyond.
Life On & Beyond the Yellowstone
“Every night, the ‘Yellowstone‘ actors get together, make a bonfire by the lake, share stories, and look at the stars,” Richards details of his experience on the show. “We get to live this very simple lifestyle while also living out our dream of acting, which is amazing and hard to do in California. It’s usually just one or the other. That’s what makes all of this a dream come true.”
As for the life of Denim Richards outside of Yellowstone, the actor is aiming for a congruent career behind the camera, as well. His passion project of late has been the short film The Zoo. Zoo follows the story of Black people during the Holocaust. It is a story rarely told, and one deeply important to Richards.
“For me, The Zoo is an opportunity to talk about these types of stories and be able to start a dialogue to not only share with the world but then for us to understand what our other history is,” he tells Your Money Geek.
“Before all these other things in 1619, arriving in Jamestown, Virginia, in chains… before this Africa was a mecca, we were kings and queens. We were inventors, we were scientists, and we were all of these amazing things. This is just an opportunity to expound upon that information, but then to also help start that dialogue.”
Hungry for more BTS with Yellowstone’s incredible cast? Head on over to our Everything to Know About ‘Lloyd’ Actor Forrie J. Smith next – and get to know this incredible, real-life cowboy. Also, see:
- ‘Yellowstone’ TV: Everything to Know About Show Creator Taylor Sheridan.
- Who Is Kelly Reilly, the Actress Who Plays the Ferocious Beth Dutton?
- The Long Hollywood Career of Rip Wheeler’s Cole Hauser
- Everything To Know About Brecken Merrill, the Actor Behind Tate Dutton
- Everything To Know About Luke Grimes, the Actor Behind Kayce Dutton