Gil Birmingham Talks About His Long Relationship with Taylor Sheridan & His Unaired DC Comics Project [Yellowstoners Podcast]

Dec 18, 2022

The Yellowstoners, Mike DeAngelo and Rodrigo Perez, have returned to break down another season of “Yellowstone” like Beth’s bottle over some poor woman’s head. Along the way, they’ll also welcome guests from the show to discuss what makes the series so popular, their favorite characters and moments, and tease what’s to come.
READ MORE: ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Review: Taylor Sheridan’s Series Remains Edible, But How Long Can The Meat & Potatoes Last?
For the uninitiated, the top-rated series follows John Dutton (Kevin Costner), a powerful rancher in Montana, as he struggles to keep his ranch and family together by any means necessary — all while being besieged by land developers, surrounding native tribes, and America’s first national park. The highly popular Taylor Sheridan show stars Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, Gil Birmingham, and more.
On this podcast episode, our hosts throw their ropes around Episodes 4 and 5, entitled “Horses in Heaven,” and “Watch ‘Em Ride Away,” respectively. The latter premiered recently on Paramount Network. Afterward, Thomas Rainwater himself, Gil Birmingham, sits down to talk about hearing about “Yellowstone” almost before everyone else due to his long working relationship with creator Taylor Sheridan.
“[Taylor] mentioned ‘Yellowstone’ back in 2016 when we were filming ‘Hell or High Water,” Birmingham said. “And he said, ‘I’ve got this television show that I’ve written and I’ve written a part for you.’ And at that point, I just thought he was an incredible writer and I said, ‘I’m spoiled with your writing – if you’ve got a series and you want me in it, I’m there.”
READ MORE: ‘1923’ Teaser Trailer: Violence Has Always Haunted The Yellowstone Dutton Family
Birmingham has also been a working actor and one of the few representations of modern Native Americans on-screen for some time. When the topic of the recent wave of shows with indigenous representation came up, Birmingham was thrilled to see more projects coming out with not only indigenous leads but directors and producers.
“I’m just so excited that we’ve gotten to a place that we haven’t been in since like, ‘Dances with Wolves,’” Birmingham shared. “A respectful portrayal of the Native American community and, more importantly, that it’s contemporary. You’d be shocked to know that the majority of people think that Native Americans don’t exist, so to be able to tell their own stories as the writers and the producers and directors – it gives it a level of inherent experience that no other writer or artist could bring to it and people are really coming to appreciate and be exposed to a real authentic portrayal of the Native community.”
In showing his appreciation for shows like “Reservation Dogs,” Birmingham revealed that he’s actually worked with producer Sterling Harjo on a DC project, “Scalped,” that got scuttled in one of the many ownership changeovers. The show was a modern crime story set on a Native American Indian reservation based on the comic book series of the same name. The project shot a pilot with “Batgirl” and “Ms. Marvel” directors Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, so it seems that “Batgirl” wasn’t the first DC property of theirs to be thrown away, so to speak.
“A lot of people don’t know this because the show had a destiny of its own. But I had worked with Sterlin Harjo, who’s one of the producers of ‘Reservation Dogs,’” Birmingham said. “This was right before ‘Yellowstone,’ and we did a DC graphic novel book called, ‘Scalped.’ And it was all indigenous cast, so we thought we were going to be groundbreaking then and the networks made some purchases of each other and they dropped all their dramas, but I guess the industry wasn’t ready for it just yet – but they sure are now!”
Less horsing around and more drama! You can listen to the entire episode breakdown and interview below.

Yellowstoners is part of The Playlist Podcast Network—which includes The Playlist Podcast, The Rogue Ones, Bingeworthy, Deep Focus, The Fourth Wall, The Discourse, and more—and can be heard on iTunes, AnchorFM, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and now on Spotify. Be sure to subscribe and drop us a comment or a rating, as we appreciate it. Thank you for listening.

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