“Yellowstone” is wishing Chief Thomas Rainwater actor Gil Birmingham a happy birthday with a powerful picture of Birmingham standing beneath a stormy sky with the mountains in the middle distance. His expression in the photo is evocative, conveying foreboding and determination in one look.
“Happy Birthday, @gilbirmingham!” the @Yellowstone Instagram account posted Tuesday. “Wishing you the best of days. #YellowstoneTV.”
‘Yellowstone’ Star Recently Appeared at Deadline Event
This May, Birmingham appeared alongside Rip Wheeler actor Cole Hauser and Beth Dutton actress Kelly Reilly at the Deadline Contenders Television event. They discussed “Yellowstone” and what may be in store for their characters in Season 4.
At the event, Birmingham also spoke to the show’s efforts to address issues facing Native American reservations. Those range from the rampant assaults on and kidnappings of Native women to substance abuse and suicide. He said series co-creator Taylor Sheridan has brought awareness to audiences who had no idea these problems were going on.
“It’s raising the awareness of conditions, an epidemic, you know, disasters that have been happening on the reservations for quite some time,” Birmingham said. “I mean, historically, going back 400 years… to modern day. Taylor has incorporated these themes to inform people and entertain them, in the sense that it’s not a podium of any sort. But they’re serious issues that most people aren’t even aware of. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women just recently had a campaign this week [related] to that exact subject matter.”
“It’s critically important for Native people to be recognized as still being present,” Birmingham added. “You know, we’re not historical artifacts. And that these issues are very important for us and for society as a whole.”
Gil Birmingham Is a Busy Actor
As for his “Yellowstone” character, Birmingham pointed out that Rainwater takes a longer view of land ownership in the valley where he coexists with John Dutton (Kevin Costner). Season 3 ended with an alliance between Rainwater and Dutton. But Angela Blue Thunder (Q’orianka Kilcher) was pushing Rainwater to be more forceful in his dealings with the Duttons. The Dutton ranch was, after all, their ancestors’ land.
“Well, we don’t see it as John Dutton’s land, we see it as ours, so that’s a different perspective,” Birmingham said. “We’ll do what we have to do to survive. You know, that’s our ancestral resilience.”
When he isn’t busy with “Yellowstone,” Birmingham has plenty of other projects in the works. He recently signed on to the psychological thriller “The Marsh King’s Daughter,” per Variety. The film charts the journey of a woman living a normal life with her husband and young daughter; however, she had a traumatic and unusual childhood, the details of which threaten to come out when her father escapes from prison and she is forced to confront him.
Birmingham’s most recent project was five episodes of the limited Netflix series “Pieces of Her,” where he appeared opposite Toni Collette. He can also be seen in the upcoming Marvel’s “Eternals,” directed by Chloe Zhao.