Beth Dutton came out swinging in the western drama “Yellowstone.” Our first introduction to the strawberry-blonde was not one where we got to dip our toe in the water, and that’s how it goes with this strong-willed woman for the rest of the series.
When it comes to scenes with Beth Dutton it’s all or nothing from Kelly Reilly, and that’s what makes us love her so much. From being especially mean as a snake to her brother Jamie (Wes Bentley), to offering advice to her father about the ranch, or being her version of “loving” to Rip (Cole Hauser), we’re sorting through some of Beth’s best moments from season 1.
Meet Beth Dutton, Queen of the Land
She’s our queen and you can’t persuade us differently. It doesn’t matter if she’s working in Salt Lake or saving the Yellowstone ranch in Montana, Beth is a BA wherever she roams.
As a matter of fact, how could you not bow away, weakly from this woman as she spits venom while she’s tearing apart your business? That’s exactly what she’s doing when we first meet her in episode 1 “Daybreak.” The cruel tongue lashing starts 13-seconds in.
“I will be CEO of IL Energy by Monday. I will fire every fucking employee. Then I will sell your leases and equipment to Chevron for 30 cents on the dollar, and you, buddy, you will have the unique distinction of being the only drilling company to go bankrupt in the largest oil boom of the last century.”Beth Dutton, Yellowstone
Kelly Reilly isn’t afraid to be the villain of the Paramount series, and quite frankly by her lines, it doesn’t seem like Beth Dutton cares what people think of her either. This complex character is actually what attracted Reilly to the role.
The actress tells Cinema Blend, “I love her mind. I love her intelligence. I love her fierceness. She’s a warrior. And then, of course, you want to slowly then start to unpack and see who this is underneath. And that for me, as an actor, that’s the stuff that I love, and when you’ve got great writing, you get to really trust going there with some of the more difficult stuff.”
“Like I trust, taking Beth so far into unlikability because I know I’m going to be held in [Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan]’s respect for her as a character. As he does with all of them. There’s a messiness and forwardness to each of them, and also just a deep underlying vulnerability to her that I don’t necessarily play too often,” Reilly explains.
Beth Comes on Stronger and Stronger
Just when you think, “ok, she’s not going to keep going,” or “she’s going to back down,” that’s right about the moment when she does just the opposite.
Reilly shares with Esquire why she loves playing the hard-nosed character, “It’s such an honor to be able to get closer to the edge of things when Beth gets to the point where you’re like, “Oh, that’s a bit too much.” “Oh, should I just stop on that a little bit?”
She continues to explain why Sheridan let’s her push the boundaries with Beth.
“That’s when I’m in the sweet spot of where Beth exists. If I step off it, then that’s not true to who it is. I can do several different takes where I can soften something, or I can really go full pelt at something to give them options in the edit. Ultimately, they always pick the harder version, the tougher version, the more explicit.
Another character-defining moment that we see right off the top is Beth soaking in a water trough. Not only do we get another accosting, but we start to learn that she’s a bit of an alcoholic and off her hinges. After all, Beth is dealing with some heavy baggage from her past.
Additionally, to further our case, Beth asks her on-and-off-again lover, Rip Wheeler, to take her on a date to watch coyotes eat a carcass. Fans only have to wait until episode 2, “Kill The Messenger,” to see this level of crazy unfold.
Beth’s Memorable Hatred Towards Jamie
The first season has us wondering why she hates Jamie, her brother, so much. There are tidbits of information that’s offered up along the way, but we don’t officially learn the reason for the tumultuous brother-sister relationship until season 3.
Sure, Beth is hateful to just about everyone she talks to, except for her father John. However, she delivers some especially cruel, barbwire one-liners at her brother. Sometimes we even get to see some of the pleasure it brings her as if saying mean things to Jamie will help alleviate the grudge she’s been holding since their childhood.
In order to develop Beth’s hate towards Jamie, Reilly told Sheridan that she had to know the history between the siblings.
“I was like: ‘Okay, there’s enough for her to be fierce about him, but there’s something deeper. There’s something else. There’s something really at the core of it, something really painful.’ I needed to know what that thing was in order to play these scenes with him. This isn’t just sibling rivalry. Taylor told me. He told me what it was,” she admits.
That’s how Reilly found out what happened between Beth and Jamie.
“When people were hating on Beth going: ‘She’s awful to Jamie.’ I was like: ‘Gosh, if you only knew.’ I was so thrilled that it was actually going to come out in a storyline to kind of explain it,” says Reilly.
The incident comes to light in season three during a flashback of their childhood.
Beth Dutton Leaves Men in the Dust
Well, it’s not only men but most of the time she’s throwing barbs at the male species that stand in her way. Take Dan Jenkins for instance. Beth makes it her mission when she returns to the Yellowstone ranch to destroy the property developer. She starts by getting close to Jenkins and then takes him down in true Beth fashion.
Jenkins thinks that Beth’s taking him to a bar for fun in this video below, but he naively finds out that the Dutton daughter has a different agenda.
Then there are the random men at the bar. Poor guys, they don’t stand a chance when it comes to Beth Dutton. Also in the video above is perhaps one of the most empowering scenes from season 1. Beth wields her name like a weapon against the drug store cowboy that tries to pick her up.
“You better have a big pistol in that purse,” the wanna-be cowboy says to Beth.
“I do. It’s called my name, Beth Dutton. What’s yours?” And just like that, boom, he’s shot down.
You look like a real soft f-ck Ted. All you city boys do.Beth Dutton, Yellowstone
However, Beth does have a soft spot for one of the men in her life, besides her father. We don’t necessarily see Beth get close to Rip in season 1, but their relationship develops into something beautiful and unique to the two. It seems like Rip is really the only one that Beth lets her guard down for. The ranchhand knows the way to Beth’s heart and has the patience to travel the rough road.
We’ve done our best to put this woman into words, and if you can’t get enough of Beth Dutton, read some of her best burns from season 1. Maybe you want to learn why she’s the best heir to inherit the massive Yellowstone ranch.
Additionally, for all “Yellowstone” TV content, click here.
The fourth installment is coming June 2021.