Kelly Reilly Thinks The Vengeful Beth Dutton Is Very “American”

While Yellowstone is only roughly based on a true story, despite there being a real ranch where one could stay, it all feels very, very real. And that has to do with Tyler Sheridan’s excellent writing and the unparalleled performances of the wealthy cast. While Kevin Costner tends to get much of the attention (deservedly so), Kelly Reilly’s Beth Dutton is easily the series’ biggest scene-stealers. Watching her manipulative, seductive, and downright cunning performance is like eating candy.


Despite Beth being a total bad***, there’s no doubt that she displays some truly despicable character traits. Here’s what Kelly really thinks of her character and how she sees her level of vengeance as “American”.

What Kelly Rielly Really Thinks Of Beth Dutton On Yellowstone

In an interview with Vulture, Kelly Reilly addressed accusations of her character becoming increasingly more arrogant, especially going into the upcoming fifth season of Yellowstone. But Kelly believes her character had a somewhat “healthy” level of arrogance. At least, at the beginning of the series.

“You know that Beyoncé song ‘Ring the Alarm’ — ‘He’s so arrogant and bold,’ and it’s meant as a compliment? I think the word audacious suits her better because there is such audacity in the things she says and does. In a way, she’s holding the cards now because she owns Jamie, and Jamie is very useful when he’s on her side and not a danger to her,” Kelly said of how Beth Dutton now has control over her brother going into the fifth season of the beloved series. “There’s a bit of recklessness to Beth, but also a part of her that doesn’t know how to keep the wolves at bay. In season four, John comes up with this idea of running for governor. That’s a light-switch moment for her. I don’t think it’s anything she ever thought he would consider doing because that’s not who he is. He’s certainly not a politician, but Beth understands this will be the way she can manipulate power in order to shut down the airport and shut down Market Equities.”

Related: The Forgotten Controversy ‘Yellowstone’ Actor Kelly Reilly Was Dragged Into

“As an actor, I’m trying to balance her. But at the same time, she is who she is,” Kelly explained. “If I try to intellectualize about her too much, I lose the essence of her because she is not up for psychoanalyzing, even though she’s ripe for it. I don’t want to do that as the actor playing her because I don’t want to judge her or pigeonhole her. She’s just a force of f***ing nature. And I think that’s where people have gone, What is that? Because she doesn’t play by the rules we expect women to play by.”

How Beth Dutton Is “American”, According To Kelly Reilly

Given the subject matter of Yellowstone, it’s common that people draw comparisons to the works of William Shakespeare. In her interview with Vulture, writer Justin Kirkland compared the character of Beth Dutton to Lady Macbeth from the Scottish play. While Kelly equates their level of power in their respective stories, she thinks Kelly is decidedly more American than Lady Macbeth.

Related: Who Was Kelly Reilly Before ‘Yellowstone’?

“I talk about Beth as a powerful, dangerous woman and Lady Macbeth is that, but Lady Macbeth has a bitterness in her. I’m not sure Beth has that bitterness. She’s so alive. I don’t think it’s necessarily about vengeance, but more, ‘If you come up against me or anything that I care about and love, I will destroy you.’ It’s more active. It’s more American. It’s less sitting in her room, manipulating, thinking of ways she could f*** someone over. And Beth only does that to people she believes deserve it,” Kelly explained.

What Will Happen To Beth Dutton In Yellowstone Season Five?


Kelly Reilly believes the Dutton family has never faced so much external function. By the end of season four, the enemies have closed in around them and there continues to be some fractioning happening within the family. Mostly between Beth and her father, John, played by Kevin Costner.

Related: Kevin Costner Makes A Fortune Per Episode On ‘Yellowstone’

“One of the hardest scenes I’ve played was when John and Beth are having that fight and they’re talking about Summer and he says, ‘We kill wolves, Beth. Not sheep.’ She’s learned from him how to kill. She’s learned from him how to destroy people and protect. She only knows how to fight and she doesn’t know the difference. She thinks of Summer as an enemy and he doesn’t. When he says, ‘I never thought I’d ever say this, but I feel disappointed in you.’ That is a dagger to her heart. Everything she does is for him. She already lives with a feeling that she’s taken from him the thing he loves the most, which was his wife. Beth feels wholly responsible for that. Not only did she lose her mother from her own fear of horses, but she took away her father’s happiness.”

The conflict between Beth and John will surely continue into the fifth season, which is set to be released soon.

Next: Why A ‘Yellowstone’ Casting Decision Resulted In The Show Getting Boycotted

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