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Kelly Reilly’s clash with wolves in Yellowstone was real, not CGI

Remember the scene where Yellowstone's Beth Dutton confronts a pack of wolves? Well, those wolves were real, as Kelly Reilly found out.

Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton in Yellowstone

If you’re anywhere near as obsessed with Yellowstone as we are, you almost certainly remember that scene early on where Kelly Reilly’s Beth Dutton chases away a pack of wolves. Like us, you’d probably assumed that the scene was filmed against a green screen, or that the wolves were added in using CGI during post-production.

Those assumptions are wrong. Actually, to film the scene (during the second episode of Yellowstone season 1) the Yellowstone cast star was filming with real, genuine, living wolves. That’s right: Reilly had to embrace her inner Beth Dutton, and summon the fearlessness of her character to confront the canine creatures.

Yahoo! Life reports that, despite her understandable apprehensions, Reilly was tasked with having to run towards them screaming in order to scare them off. Classic Beth. Reilly explained: “The crew said, don’t worry. We’ve got these invisible pieces of cord so if they do run at you, that will trip them.”

As an early scene, the moment is formative in how it defines Beth through the eyes of the audience. The Yellowstone character is on a date with Rip Wheeler and, rather than going to see some live music, they go to sit in their truck and watch wolves tear into a carcass. Romantic… right?! The self-destructive and easily bored Beth, looking for some adrenaline, sprints toward them roaring and screaming to scare them away, while Rip looks on, baffled.

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That tells you all you need to know about the character, really: she seeks out danger and chaos without having a rational reason why. That thread continues on throughout Yellowstone’s five seasons, as we see Beth push herself and those around her in an attempt to find some stimulation.

As for Kelly Reilly, it shows her dedication to a taxing and demanding role. The actor has spoken candidly about how difficult and exhausting it can be to play Beth, who’s often an uncomfortable character for her to live with. Still, she’s an absolute highlight of the show, one of the best TV series around, and her return in Yellowstone season 5 part 2 is something that we’re particularly looking forward to.

Season 5 part 2, which will end the series, is due to commence filming in Spring 2024 to meet its November 2024 release window. When it does arrive, we can expect Beth to be at the center of the story in her attempt to kill her brother, Jamie, while he simultaneously tries to kill her (the Dutton family tree has never been simple). Reilly herself hopes that the finale will result in some peace for Beth, but at this point, that seems too optimistic.

For more Yellowstone fun, see our explainer on the complete Yellowstone timeline, and learn about the spin-offs with our guides to the 1923 season 2 release date, and the 1944 release date. Or, learn about why 1883 already revealed how Yellowstone’s going to end, and see our list of the best drama series of all time.