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David Cleveland Brown has opened up about his experiences working with legendary star Kevin Costner and the rest of the cast of Yellowstone. Production is currently underway for the Paramount series’ fourth season, and the former star has revealed showrunner Taylor Sheridan allows plenty of time for improvisation.
Former Yellowstone star David Cleveland Brown portrayed Jason, the assistant of shrewd banker Beth Dutton (played by Kelly Reilly) in the first two seasons.
Unfortunately, his character was viciously killed off when the Duttons crossed paths with the ruthless Beck brothers.
Brown’s time on the series still remains a highlight of his career, however, and he recently touched on his time with the show’s legendary cast on Reddit.
During the Q&A session, he surprised some fans by revealing showrunner and director Taylor Sheridan often allowed the stars to improvise parts of the dialogue.
After his central role as Deputy Chief of Police David Hale in motorcycle crime drama Sons of Anarchy, Sheridan is now better known for his finely crafted Hollywood screenplays.
The writer received international acclaim for his work on Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, then stepped into the director’s chair to shoot his scripts for Hell Or High Water and Wind River.
Like most of his work, Yellowstone brings the sensibilities of classic Westerns into the brutal modern day, including the acerbic, cutting dialogue of their cowboy antiheroes.
Despite the show’s well-tuned screenplays, David Cleveland Brown revealed the actors were occasionally given some freedom to play around with certain scenes.
On Reddit, he revealed: “When Taylor was directing he allowed improvising some lines which I did a bit.”
“When he wasn’t directing there was also a script supervisor, so there was less leeway on lines.”
Sheridan took on the daunting task of writing and directing almost every episode of Yellowstone’s first season.
Although the first two episodes were co-written with the show’s co-creator John Linson, Sheridan has writing credits on all 29 episodes so far.
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Meanwhile, a handful of TV greats, such as Ed Bianchi (Deadwood) and John Dahl (Outlander) stepped in to direct the second and third seasons.
The screenwriter still directed every minute of the show’s first season, meaning Jason’s introduction to the no-nonsense ranch owner John Dutton (Kevin Costner) was helmed by Sheridan.
Brown continued: “One scene I had with Costner I reach out my hand to shake his, which wasn’t in the script.
“I thought it would be fun since I know his next line was basically rejecting me. My little addition made it in.”
While Costner’s lesser-known co-star could have been making a risky move by improvising the pivotal scene, Jason and John Dutton’s awkward introduction perfectly encapsulated the differences between the two characters.
Luckily, John Dutton’s aloof reaction to Beth’s underling wasn’t matched by Kevin Costner’s attitude when the cameras stopped rolling.
The actor added: “I have nothing but great things to say about the other actors.They were really all lovely and down to earth.
“I mentioned to Taylor Sheridan how amazed I was that he cast so many people who didn’t have an arrogant air about them. He told me that those people don’t last very long in this business anymore.”
The dedicated cast of Yellowstone are all set to return in season four, though some of the Duttons’ lives may be in danger after the explosive events of this year’s finale.
Yellowstone will return with season 4 in 2021 on Paramount and Peacock.
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