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Yellowstone star compares their character to the best villain ever

The Yellowstone cast is filled with amazing characters, but it's the Duttons who define it. This star thinks their character is like one of the best villains.

Beth and Rip in Yellowstone

One of the best TV series around right now, Yellowstone is so gripping in large part thanks to its array of dramatic characters. Almost every character in the Yellowstone cast has done some pretty bad things, including the Dutton patriarch himself, played by Kevin Costner.

Those surrounding Dutton on the Yellowstone ranch – his children and his right hand man Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) – are just as brutal. And it’s his daughter Beth Dutton, played by Kelly Reilly, who is arguably as vicious as it gets.

From getting into brawls to chasing off wolves, Beth is fearless and relentless, and is one of John Dutton’s best assets. Even if she can be evil. Speaking with The Independent, the British actor Kelly Reilly has compared her character to one of the best villains of all time: Lady Macbeth.

“I certainly hadn’t seen this sort of character on TV,” said Reilly of Beth Dutton. “I find her more in plays, these enormous women like Medea or Lady Macbeth. There was something huge about her and powerful and terrifying.”

Speaking on her own emotional connection to Beth, Reilly went on to share how her role was complex, capable of being simultaneously rewarding and punishing. “There are days where I play her, where I love her and I admire her, and I envy her. And there are other days where I feel sick to my stomach. I just have to remember that this is pure fiction and it’s heightened. And I am not her, she is not me.”

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The comparison to Lady Macbeth in particular (who in William Shakespeare’s play is more brutal than her husband and spurs him on to commit his bad deeds) is apt, and it’s rare that women on screen have the chance to be so ferocious without being an outright villain. In that regard at least, Yellowstone is an example for other shows to follow.

For more action from the Yellowstone ranch, check out our explainer on the Yellowstone timeline. You can also learn more about why Kevin Costner is leaving Yellowstone, and look forward with our guides to the Yellowstone season 5 part 2 release date, the 1923 season 2 release date, and the 6666 release date. Yee-haw.