‘Yellowstone’ Star Jefferson White Opens Up About Why People Relate to Jimmy

by Courtney Blackann

“Yellowstone’s” underdog Jimmy is perhaps the character we’re all rooting for the most. He didn’t come from much and he’s new to the world of cowboys. However, the rookie bunkhouse boy is also someone we relate to. And actor Jefferson White tributes that to Jimmy’s outsider perspective.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jefferson White opened up about playing Jimmy and why people seem to connect so well with the character.

If you’re new to the “Yellowstone” series, Jimmy is a new ranch hand who’s learning the ropes. He’s also learning just what it means to be a cowboy. Often the comedic relief of the series, Jimmy routinely messes up, makes wrong decisions and isn’t the greatest on horseback.

But the very thing that makes him such humorous rookie is the reason why people connect so well with his character. He’s learning the ways of the west, just as all the fans are. He says the American west is such an idyllic dreamscape that Jimmy is captivated by its beauty. It’s something foreign to him – and he’s looking up to both Rip and John Dutton to teach him the ways of the ranch.

And as Jimmy continues to grow and evolve, so do his fans’ expectations from the character. He’s continually learning – and in the latest season, he’s proving to be more of a man than a boy as he trains with the “6666” ranch in Fort Worth, Texas.

White says Jimmy is a character that fans can root for because he’s such an underdog.

Jefferson White Talks Early “Yellowstone” Audition

When he’s not filming the Montana show, Jefferson White says he likes when fans recognize him. Though that doesn’t happen often in his Brooklyn, New York hometown.

“I live in Brooklyn, New York,” White explained. “So out there, it’s pretty mellow. Everybody’s very cool, everybody’s very distant. Which is a bummer for me, because I’m always walking around trying to get recognized, you know? I’m always like, making protracted eye contact with people, like, ‘Do you want to talk to me?’ Nobody wants to talk to me.”  

This seems about on pace for the Jimmy actor. However, the funny thing is that when he first auditioned for the role, producers of the show wanted him to read as Kayce’s character.

“The role of Kayce, that’s an incredible part, but I also sort of recognized right away, that’s not me,” White recounted. “So what I did was, I loved the script so much and I knew I wasn’t quite right for the part, so I went through the script looking for anything else that fit. So I immediately sort of connected with Jimmy. That really felt kind of right down the middle for me, you know, just a sort of guy trying desperately to keep up, a guy who’s in over his head, and sort of trying to survive in a world that’s very new to him. That really resonated with me.”