5 YеIIоwstоnе Aсtоrs Whо arе Cоwbоуs in RеaI Lifе - Animals Paradise

5 YеIIоwstоnе Aсtоrs Whо arе Cоwbоуs in RеaI Lifе

The popularity of the hit neo-western drama series Yellowstone (2018- ) is mainly down to its authentic portrayal of the ranching lifestyle.

The cowboys of Yellowstone are as rugged and hardy as their real-life counterparts, all thanks to show creator Taylor Sheridan’s extensive background in ranching.

Not only did Sheridan teach all the actors how to ride, he even sent them to “cowboy camp” to live alongside actual cowboys.

With the exception of Kelly Reilly, Forrie J. Smith, and Kevin Costner, all main actors rode up into the mountains to live off the land and learn what it takes to be a real cowboy.

To further increase the authenticity of the show, Sheridan also cast a few real-life cowboys for recurring roles.

Even though some of them had no previous acting experience, they all adjusted quickly and became core to the success of Yellowstone.

Forrie J. Smith (Lloyd Pierce)

The most senior among the ranch hands, Lloyd has worked at the Yellowstone ranch for many years. He is also the best friend of ranch foreman Rip Wheeler and a fan favorite no doubt.

However, the reason why Lloyd’s character is so popular is the fact that Forrie J. Smith grew up on a Montana ranch himself. Since the age of eight, he was riding horses and competing in rodeo on a regular basis.

Interestingly, Smith turned to the entertainment industry following a fall from a horse. After the incident, he decided to become a stuntman, a career that took him all the way to Hollywood.

According to Smith, it used to be common for rodeo cowboys to become stuntmen back in the day:

“Most stuntmen back in the 50s, especially in westerns, came from the rodeo world. Becoming a cowboy or a horseman is a lifetime endeavor,” he said (source: Showbiz CheatSheet).

For the last 20 years, Smith has been performing stunts along with the occasional acting gig until he came across Yellowstone.

Also read: 20 Yellowstone Quiz Questions for Ultimate Fans

Forrie J. Smith’s Journey to Stardom

Smith originally got to know Yellowstone writer Taylor Sheridan through working with him on the set of Hell or High Water (2016).

Recognizing the stuntman’s potential for portraying a cowboy, Sheridan offered him the recurring role of Lloyd Pierce, which Smith accepted.

After two highly successful seasons, Smith became a series regular on Yellowstone. This was a huge milestone for the stuntman-turned-actor, who’s never had a series regular role before.

Ironically, he is now too valuable to perform most of his stunts, which used to be a part of everyday life for Smith. Luckily, Sheridan lets him perform a few stunts from time to time, keeping his days interesting and fun on set.

Jake Ream (Jake)

Ryan Bingham (Walker)

Walker is an ex-prisoner whose fate leads him to work as a branded ranch hand on the Yellowstone Dutton ranch. He was recruited by Rip straight out of prison back in Season 1 who gave him a second chance at life.

As it turns out, the actor who plays Walker on the show is not unlikе his character in real life. Bingham grew up on the New Mexico and Texas border surrounded by horses and rodeo. He started bull riding at a young age and left home at 17 to compete on the rodeo circuit.

However, it was ultimately music that brought him fame and success.

Meeting Taylor Sheridan

According to Country Thang Daily, Sheridan originally tasked Bingham to write a song for a movie he was directing at the time, titled Wind River (2017). When he found out about Bingham’s background in rodeo, he offered him work on the set of Yellowstone.

Ethan Lee (Ethan)

Ethan is one of the newer hands on the Yellowstone ranch. He is portrayed by stuntman-turned-actor Ethan Lee and has been a recurring character on the show since Season 3.

As with the above actors, Lee’s talent in riding and roping isn’t merely an act. The Los Angeles native spent years riding broncs and bulls on the rodeo circuit.

In addition, he also spent several years working as a stunt performer in shows likе Claws (2017-2022) and NCIS: New Orleans (2014-2021). His profession as a stuntman is in fact what brought him to his current role on Yellowstone.

Lee was offered a role on Yellowstone twice

Surprisingly, the stuntman turned down his first opportunity to be part of Sheridan’s show. In an interview with WWLTV, Lee explained that all his children were still small and he didn’t want to be gone for long periods at a time.

However, he soon regretted turning down such a great offer and was ready to accept the second time around. Initially, he started out behind the scenes and was promoted to a member of the cast by the end of Season 2.

Taylor Sheridan (Travis Wheatly)

Travis is a horse trainer and trader from Bosque ranch in Texas who also breeds and shows Quarter horses.

Much likе his character, Taylor Sheridan is a skiIIed cowboy who breeds and shows Quarter horses himself. The actor-screenwriter grew up on a ranch near Cranfills Gap in Bosque County, Texas, where he learned everything there is about horses and ranching.

According to Sheridan, had his family not Iơst the ranch in the early 1990s, he would still be living there. At the age of 14, he got a job at a nearby cattle ranch where he was working for $400 a month.