‘Yellowstone’ TV: Gil Birmingham Gives Kevin Costner ‘Space’ on Set For This Respectful Reason

by Matthew Wilson

“Yellowstone” stars Gil Birmingham and Kevin Costner may play adversaries on the show. But in real life, they get along pretty well on-set. Still, Birmingham likes to be respectful and give Costner his space.

Birmingham understands the imminence pressure and work Costner is under, carrying the show. After all, his face shines on all the promotional material. While on set, it can be tiresome filming every day as the lead of the show. Birmingham said he respects that Costner may feel exhausted from his current workload.

Still, the two also have fun whenever they do share scenes.

“I love working with Kevin Costner. The few scenes that I’ve had … I haven’t had that many scenes with Kevin,” Birmingham told Indian Country Today. “But he’s really a lot of fun to work with. He’s a very intense individual. He’s very prepared and he loves to rehearse. But carrying the lead of a show, where you’re working practically every single day is so exhausting. I just try to give the actors that got that kind of workload the space they need.”

Gil Birmingham Plays Tom Rainwater

On “Yellowstone,” Birmingham plays the character Tom Rainwater, a wealthy casino mogul. Birmingham’s character is also the chief of the Confederated Tribes of Broken Rock and leader of the Broken Rock Indian Reservation. His plans for his reservation and himself often put him at odds with the Duttons.

Rainwater is a multi-layered character with qualities to admire and also to admonish. Birmingham compares his character to Kevin Costner’s and views them as similar. Birmingham believes the ambiguity surrounding the character is what makes him interesting and fascinating to watch. You never know what Rainwater might do next or whether you’ll be rooting for him or not.

“That’s the ambiguity of how Taylor writes his characters, same as Kevin Costner’s character, you can say the same thing,” Birmingham said. “He’s not always a good guy. I think the moral ambiguity is the way that Taylor writes, which makes it interesting because it leaves it to the audience to determine, based on their own perspective of what they think the moral judgment is.”

Outside of “Yellowstone,” Birmingham has had a long career in TV and film. Birmingham previously appeared in “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan’s previous films “Wind River” and “Hell or High Water.” He also appeared in various other films such as the “Twilight” series and “The Lone Ranger” as well.