Before he starred on Yellowstone, singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham wrote an award-winning song for the movie 2009 Crazy Heart.
Before he landed the role of Walker and became a branded member of the Dutton Ranch, Ryan Bingham worked as a singer-songwriter on the movie, Crazy Heart. During the movie, Jeff Bridges plays washed-up country music star, Bad Blake. After decades of sabotaging his success with booze and drugs, Blake ends up only being able to get gigs at dive bars and bowling alleys. It seems like he’ll spend the rest of his days in mediocrity until he meets an ambitious reporter (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who wants to write a story about him. Romance blossoms and Blake has to make some difficult life decisions. Ryan Bingham wrote the movie’s theme song, “The Weary Kind.”
The song is about everything you give up for a life on the road. During the song, Bingham sings, “And this ain’t no place for the weary kind. This ain’t no place to lose your mind. This ain’t no place to fall behind. Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try.”
You only have to listen to the song once to understand why the world fell in love with both the lyrics and Bingham’s voice. After the film’s release, Bingham won countless awards for the song – 11 to be exact. Four of the most notable awards include an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, and a World Soundtracks Award for Best Original Song Written for a Film.
How Did Ryan Bingham Land the Role of Walker on Yellowstone?
Ryan Bingham isn’t just a talented singer-songwriter. As Yellowstone fans know, Bingham is also an actor. He’s landed roles in movies including, Crazy Heart, A Country Called Home, and Hostiles. But how was he introduced to the character, Walker on Yellowstone? Turns out, the role was actually written specifically for him. During an interview in 2020, Bingham shared how he met the show’s creator Taylor Sheridan, and how he was written into Yellowstone.
“I originally met Taylor a few years back when he wrote and directed a film called Wind River. He contacted me about writing a song for the film. I never seemed to come up with anything for the movies at that time that fit, but we always kept in touch and remained friends,” said Bingham.
Although Ryan Bingham never wrote a song for Wind River, Sheridan contacted him again when he started developing Yellowstone.
“He contacted me again about possibly writing some songs and using some of the songs that I already had,” said Bingham. “And after hanging out for a while, he learned that I had a history with rodeo and the cowboy thing. And so he said, ‘Heck, I got to write you into this show.’ And so that’s how that all started.”
Well, that’s definitely a much easier initiation than the one Walker faced when joining the Dutton ranch.