‘Yellowstone’: Kelly Reilly and Director Stephen Kay Break Down Beth’s Season 4 Showdown With John Dutton
If you’re a “Yellowstone” fan, you remember that season 4 scene between Beth Dutton and her father John. Beth used Summer, ending up with Summer in jail facing a hefty sentence, and Beth went home thinking her dad was going to be proud of her. But, John had a bit of a soft spot for Summer and was disappointed with Beth in a way we’ve never seen before. They’ve had their disagreements, but he’s never banished her from the house like he did in this moment.
It was devastating to watch because Kelly Reilly is so talented and plays Beth so well. She’s deep in that character’s head and knows exactly how to make us all ache for her. She went to Walker after and made him play her a sad song so she could cry, and her full-body sobbing caught us all by the throat.
Recently, Kelly Reilly and “Yellowstone” director Stephen Kay spoke with TV Line to break down that scene with John Dutton; they spoke together about the scene itself, the emotional impact, and how Kelly Reilly has basically become Beth.
Kelly Reilly and Stephen Kay On That Scene
“That scene was heartbreaking for me,” Reilly began. “Beth doesn’t often come up against her father. She’s very obedient with him. So to have him say he’s disappointed in her […] She never thought she’d hear that from him. She’d rather have been punched.”
Now, it seems like things could be back on solid ground for Beth and her father. There’s even a theory going around about Beth and Rip running the ranch if John becomes governor. The emotional impact was heavy for both the actors and the audience, but the scene did its job. Boy, did it do its job. The goal was to shake up the dynamic between Beth and John, sow some seeds of doubt and regret, and it did just that.
Kay added, “Everything Beth did, she did for the right reason as far as she was concerned. So it was pretty easy to tell Kelly, ‘Play these circumstances, and your heart will break.’”
Reilly also mentioned that they go into scenes with not much preparation or rehearsal, so we can just imagine what it was like to portray that scene with real, raw emotions. “There’s an adrenaline rush to just throwing yourself into it and not knowing what the other person is going to do, then responding freshly,” she said. “There’s an excitement to that way of working that I personally love rather than rehearsing it to death.”
‘Yellowstone’ Star Gives Insight Into Becoming ‘the Muse’
“I’ve said it to Kelly, and I’ve said to Taylor [Sheridan]: Beth is his muse, his fever dream,” said Kay. “And Kelly is Beth now. She doesn’t come in and put Beth on, she is Beth.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Kelly Reilly is so good as Beth. We can’t imagine anyone else portraying that character on “Yellowstone.” Stephen Kay is right, she has become that role, and she’ll be known for playing Beth Dutton for the rest of her life.
“When you have a role that means so much to you, you want people to understand her,” Reilly added. “So I’m always trying to connect to the part of Beth that isn’t just brutal. In this specific scene, it wasn’t a big reach to find that [vulnerability]. Knowing that this would be like a knife to her heart, I wanted the audience to feel that.”