‘Yellowstone’ Star Piper Perabo Explains How Her Real Life Experiences Informed Her Character

by Jon D. B.

Piper Perabo’s life didn’t just inform Summer Higgins, Yellowstone mastermind Taylor Sheridan created the character specifically for her.

According to the fan-favorite actor herself, once Taylor Sheridan learned that Perabo had been arrested for her own activism, the character of Summer Higgins was born. The character would then be written for her directly.

“I had a dinner with Taylor Sheridan, who writes Yellowstone, and his family, and it was after I had been part of a big protest,” Perabo told Taste of Country prior to Season 4.

As for how her arrest became part of the conversation, the Yellowstone star says, “It came up at dinner. I had gotten arrested for civil disobedience at this protest, and [Sheridan] was really interested in that, and we started talking about… He kinda wanted to know all the nuts and bolts, and exactly how it works,” she continues.

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 22: Piper Perabo and Diane Lane see arrest near the US Capitol during “Fire Drill Friday” climate change protest on November 22, 2019 in Washington, DC. Protesters are demanding fast action for a “Green New Deal,” including renewable energy by 2030. And no new exploration or drilling for fossil fuels. Including the end to taxpayer subsidies to oil companies. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

“That’s the kind of storyteller he is. He gets interested in something and just keeps digging and digging and digging,” Perabo reveals. All that digging came to her favor soon, too.

Massive ‘Yellowstone’ Fan Piper Perabo Gets to Join Her Favorite Show

“About six months later, he called and said he’d written this part,” she adds. As a massive Yellowstone fan herself, Perabo could hardly believe it.

“I’m a huge fan of the show, so I’ve been watching since the beginning,” Perabo reveals. “I felt really lucky, because I had seen the end of Season 3, where everybody is in danger, you know… Beth and Kayce and John, it seems like you could lose them all at the end of Season 3.”

Not Perabo. The actor says she was “so happy that I joined in Season 4, because I could read the scripts and know that everybody was okay!” she laughs.

And then it was off to the races. Piper Perabo’s Summer Higgins comes in with a bang, and she’s become an integral part of the plot ever since. Her relations with both John and Beth Dutton have provided some of the series’ best moments – including that kitchen showdown.

In a separate interview with Wide Open Country, Perabo revealed that Summer still was “not ready to change all the way” by her double-Dutton encounter.

“So she brings what she’s fighting for into this relationship with the Duttons. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s the conversation that I think is so cool,” the Yellowstone star continues.

As for that brilliant breakfast brawl, Perabo adds that “When Beth and Summer are across the table from each other, it doesn’t go great… But I feel like that is the way forward for people to understand each other is to sit at a table with families and talk.”

That’s one way – certainly a far more tame one – to put it. Yellowstone continues with Piper Perabo as Summer Higgings Sundays at 8 PM Eastern only on Paramount Network.