On “Yellowstone,” Walker actor Ryan Bingham has slowly become a bigger part of the show. And while he’s not dropping any hints as to when “Yellowstone” returns to airwaves, he recently offered some insights into how he landed on “Yellowstone” and what the future holds for Walker.
As for when the show will return, all indications point to June. The Chief Joseph Ranch, the real-life site of the fictional Dutton ranch on the show, posted a photo of a familiar-looking barn to Instagram several months ago. Alongside it was the caption, “That’s a wrap on filming Season 4! Who is excited for the premiere in June?”
Bingham spoke to 3D Entertainment’s #nfp podcast this month. And naturally, he got to talking about “Yellowstone,” which has really exploded in popularity over the past year.
He said that Sheridan wrote the character of Walker for him after learning he had some rodeo experience. Initially, however, Sheridan warned him that they could kill Walker off at any point.
Ryan Bingham Says ‘Yellowstone’ Role Hinged on His Performance
“I got to know Taylor Sheridan, the writer of the show, awhile back,” Bingham explained. “And he was a fan and wanted to use a couple of my songs in the show. I met up with him out here, and he learned that I used to ride bulls and cowboyed a little bit. And he said, ‘Well, f—, we gotta get you in the show.’”
“You know, and he’s like, ‘I don’t know what we’re gonna do with you, but… we’ll figure something out,’” Bingham continued. “And so he came up with my character, and he said, ‘I don’t know… we’ll just kind of slowly introduce you in there.’ He said, ‘If you do real good, we’ll keep you in.’ And he goes, ‘If you suck, we’ll just kill you off.’”
“I think, for those first couple of seasons, nobody ever knew if I was gonna die or come back,” Bingham laughed. “So then I kinda got stuck doing it.”
But Bingham found that he enjoyed acting. It provided him with another creative outlet besides music. And he draws so much on his own experiences to portray Walker that the character has grown on him over time.
Walker’s Too Tough to Kill Off Easily
When Bingham started on the series, his focus was more on his music. That changed eventually, especially after the pandemic hit, he said.
“But then when the COVID stuff happened, and all the touring was shut down, I was talking to Taylor, and I was like, ‘I’m not doing anything all summer,’” Bingham recalled of how his role grew more substantial in recent seasons. “And he was like, ‘I’m gonna write you into this thing.’”
As “Yellowstone” fans know, Walker disappeared from the ranch for a bit only to show up again at a bar in town, where an outraged Rip (Cole Hauser) and Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) jumped him and dragged him back to the ranch. There he explained indignantly to Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Rip that he still had to meet with his parole officer and so couldn’t flee the state.
Rip pointed out that with all he knew about the Dutton ranch, they couldn’t just leave him to roam free. So Kayce offered him his old job back, and Walker rejoined the ranch. Bingham said Walker is a wily cowboy, albeit a reluctant one, and he isn’t going to “the train station” anytime soon.
“I won’t give it all away,” Bingham said. “But I can tell you, Walker’s f—ing tough. They ain’t getting rid of him that easy.”