“Yellowstone” star Brecken Merrill recognizes ingenuity when he sees it. And he especially recognizes it when it saves him from hypothermia.
The Tate Dutton actor on Sunday delighted “Yellowstone” fans with an epic behind-the-scenes account of a key scene from the show. The scene, from Season 1 of the hit Paramount Network series, featured the near-drowning of Merrill’s character after Tate’s grandfather John Dutton (Kevin Costner) momentarily lost him to a Montana river.
In the Sunday Instagram post, Merrill details how they filmed the scene, the precautions they took and how great Costner was at filming multiple very physically demanding takes.
Brecken Merrill Shouts Out ‘Yellowstone’ Crew
Merrill described how careful the crew of “Yellowstone” was to put safety first when filming Tate’s dangerous tumble into the river. He said the show’s stunt coordinator tested his swimming skills in a pool before they ventured over to the river. And Merrill noted that both his stunt double and a dummy were there for the more dangerous parts of the sequence.
When they put Merrill and his stunt double, Juliana Potter, into the water, they also had swift water rescuers and skilled stunt professionals nearby. And the piece de resistance: to keep Merrill, Potter and Costner warm between takes, the “Yellowstone” crew put a hot tub in the middle of the Montana woods.
“To keep us warm there was a hot tub (IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS!-kudos to the crew that set everything up!!) a warming tent and when Kevin or I had to stand by the river they would keep us warm with warm water out of a hose,” Merrill wrote on Instagram.
Tate Has Been Through A Lot in Three Seasons
Merrill’s character, Tate, has escaped some pretty harrowing situations over the course of the show’s first three seasons. For example, there was the time he wound up in a drainage pipe with a poisonous snake.
“That thing bite you?” his father Kayce (Luke Grimes) inquired, upon seeing his son climb out of the pipe.
“I beat him to it,” came Tate’s reply.
Then there was the time Tate fell into the river. Luckily, Grandpa Dutton is pretty spry, and he managed to pluck Tate out of the waters just in time. He returned Tate, drenched and shivering, to a disapproving Kayce.
Perhaps most nail-biting for “Yellowstone” fans was the time Tate was kidnapped by the Beck brothers and turned over to a group of white nationalists in a remote area. It required all the resources of the Dutton ranch and its allies to get him back. And even after Kayce stormed in to rescue his son, the boy still suffered traumatic flashbacks and nightmares.
By the time Season 3 wound down, Tate was still recovering, but a camping trip with Grandpa Dutton had restored his spirits. What’s in store for Tate in Season 4? Fans have just a few short months to go before they find out.
Watch a behind-the-scenes featurette featuring Merrill’s top “Yellowstone” moments – including being saved from the river by Costner – here: