‘Yellowstone’ TV Star Ian Bohen Said He Got His ‘Butt Kicked’ While Working on His Grandfather’s Livestock Ranch as a Kid

by Katie Maloney

It’s difficult to believe that the characters on “Yellowstone” are played by Hollywood actors. Their depictions are so realistic that we almost believe they’re real-life cowboys and cowgirls. And for some actors, that is actually the case. Actor Forrie J. Smith, who plays Lloyd on the show grew up with the rodeo. In fact, his father is in the Canadian Cowboy Hall of Fame. Actor Hassie Harrison, who plays Laramie on “Yellowstone” grew up riding horses in Texas. But there’s one quippy cowboy in the bunkhouse who also grew up living the ranch-life as a kid. And that is actor Ian Bohen who plays Ryan on the show.

Although Ryan hasn’t had a detailed storyline of his own yet, he has been quite the pot-stirrer when it comes to drama in the bunkhouse on “Yellowstone.” He seems so at ease in the bunkhouse, which could be because Bohen grew up working on his grandfather’s ranch.

Actor Ian Bohen Was Working as a Ranch Hand Long Before He Started Filming ‘Yellowstone’

Ryan can tend a ranch with the best of them on “Yellowstone.” Part of that is simply good acting, but it also has to do with the fact that Ian Bohen had years of experience before being cast on the show. During an interview in 2020, Bohen shared that he spent every summer on his grandfather’s ranch starting when he was just 8-years-old.

“I was fortunate, my grandfather had a livestock ranch in Wisconsin. So, I would spend my summers there months at a time from probably when I was eight or nine,” said Bohen.

While there, Bohen said he learned an important lesson about being a cowboy – you either conquer ranch life or ranch life will kick your butt.

“So, I really learned from an old, cussy grandpa who wasn’t into coddling, that you pick it up quickly or you get your butt kicked,” said Bohen with a laugh.

Bohen also learned to team rope with his uncle.

“So, I’ve been riding since then. You know, I’m very comfortable on a horse. I learned how to team rope with my uncle years ago in Montana, oddly,” added Bohen.

The “Yellowstone” actor added that growing up with these skills has benefited him greatly on the set of the show. He may even get a few advantages over other cast members when co-creator Taylor Sheridan is writing scenes.

“And that was something we were asked to do here. So, it was very convenient not to have to teach me some of those things,” said Bohen. “And that I could be relied on for that. And so when Taylor [Sheridan] writes he knows who can do what and you get a little more leeway for that. So I was fortunate for that.”