Brace yourself: Yellowstone star Kelly Reilly has a pretty shocking opinion about one of her on-screen family members in the extraordinary drama series. And, the truth is, she’s absolutely correct.
Reilly, who’s helped to define Yellowstone as Beth Dutton since it began back in 2018, was reflecting on her time in the Yellowstone cast when she shared that she actually feels sorry for Jamie Dutton, rather than hating him. “A lot of those scenes [with Beth and Jamie] are really difficult to play,” she began, speaking with Entertainment Tonight.
“They’re so filled with pain, so they’re pretty brutal,” she continued. “It’s hard to talk about it honestly, because when I’m playing her I’m full in… and then I watch it and I don’t even remember doing some of the scenes. I feel really bad for Jamie sometimes.”
It’s fair to say that that’s a pretty huge dividing line between Reilly herself and her iconic Yellowstone character. Beth detests Jamie with every fiber of her being, seeing him as an ambitious, selfish, loathsome individual who only serves his own best interests. Of course, there’s also the fact that he’s responsible for her inability to have children: the real reason why she treats him so harshly, and is hell-bent on making his life a misery.
All of the awful things that Jamie has done are also designed to make us, the audience, hate Jamie too. He is cowardly, and he is led by a constant search for praise and affection, to the detriment of those around him. So, like Beth, you probably find yourself bemused by Reilly’s sympathy for the conniving lawyer.
But Reilly’s right. Yes, Jamie’s an awful, broken person, but the reasons behind his flaws are complex and do demand your sympathy. As with all the best TV series, there’s more to this situation than what’s on the surface.
He’s riddled with regret over what he did to Beth and the long-standing consequences of that. He’s confused by his own father’s resentment of him for becoming a lawyer when this is exactly what he’d been asked to do. And his constant search for approval is only because he’s been shunned by the rest of his family, despite his enormous ability.
Jamie is the way he is because he’s been manipulated and twisted through his entire life. He wants to be a good person and wants to do what’s best for his family and the ranch, but also has his own dreams and desires beyond that. That does make him unlike the rest of the Dutton family tree, but it also makes him normal.
So, when you commit to rewatching the full Yellowstone timeline ahead of the release of Yellowstone season 5 part 2, maybe take a leaf out of Kelly Reilly’s book. This time, try feeling sorry for Jamie. He’s a product of his toxic environment, and nothing more.
For more on the world of Yellowstone, check out our guide to the 1923 season 2 release date, or check out our thoughts on why the most likely Yellowstone spin-off needs Kelly Reilly. If you want to move beyond the Dutton drama, see what else is new on Paramount Plus this month.