Josh Lucas previously starred as a young John Dutton Yellowstone even premiered at Paramount, but it would take five seasons before the character’s backstory really began to unravel. Here the actor is most famous A beautiful thought and: Sweet Home Alabama talks about the never-ending wait to catch up with everyone else at the ranch in Montana.
DEADLINE When were you first approached by Taylor Sheridan to play a younger John Dutton?
JOSH LUCAS I was approached all the way before they started shooting at the pilot. Taylor and I had a long discussion about, you know, The Godfather and what Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro did. These men don’t have to look alike. They must have each other’s essence. I wanted to be in the pilot. I didn’t actually tell people this, I really wanted to play Rip. But he obviously wanted Cole Hauser, and that was kind of cool to me because I’ve known Cole since I was 17, 18 years old. I think I came in episode three or four, I forget exactly. Yellowstone wasn’t Yellowstone at the time. These people were creating something and pouring their heart and soul into it, but it still didn’t succeed.
How did you know Cole when you were 17?
Acting is a strange little world, really. I really wanted to be a part of Dazed and Confused with all the actors like McConaughey. I didn’t even audition for that movie, but I knew about it. I was an actor in New York. They were Los Angeles. So when they came to New York, they hung out and visited me. Cole slept on my floor for a few nights. The world of being a young actor was a bit different at that point. It was a bit more wild and free and risky and frankly dangerous and drunk. I always remember Cole being a power hitter. It’s interesting now that he’s Rip because he has that same power and energy and danger within him, but there’s also a spirituality. It’s great to ride a horse outside the ranch with him now, another 30 years later.
DEADLINE I can’t even remember your first scenes as John Dutton.
They were so small. Taylor told me before we started shooting the first little bits that it wouldn’t be much for me for the first few years. It will be in season five. Season five is where you come in. I don’t know if we’ll be doing a full season or full flashback episodes, but that’s what I can tell you. And I remember honestly thinking, this guy is crazy. For example, I just remember having a moment where the idea of a TV show lasting more than a year or two was pretty unique or rare, much less five seasons. It’s not normal. And the idea that he had all the seasons in his head? He said he didn’t know where he was going. He just knew that the feedback would be quite meaningful.
DEADLINE That’s pretty impressive then, he knew you were going to be in season five.
I do remember lying on my son’s bunk bed in the basement of our house in Harlem, New York, talking to Taylor Sheridan on the phone for the first time in the middle of the night, and him telling me that season five is where young John is going to be famous; And I honestly remember thinking that was crazy. But I also talked to someone recently who told me that when they found the Dutton Ranch location, Taylor went around and pointed to some spots and said “this is going to happen here in the first season” and “this is going to happen here in the season.” two. And that’s where the cemetery goes.
DEADLINE Since Yellowstone became such a huge hit, did you call Taylor and ask if you need me? now?”
No, but I will tell you that I was sad that I wasn’t a big part of it, not because of the success. More because I wanted to be a part of Yellowstone in the first place. I thought [the Sheridan-penned films] Wind River and Sicario and Hell or High Water were incredible. I thought Taylor was doing something from a writing standpoint that was remarkable. I really felt that Taylor was a unique talent. He was an actor who left a television show because he very clearly felt that he was worth more than what they valued it at.
DEADLINE So when you finally got called up, were you sent to Cowboys camp?
I drive, but I don’t drive at any extreme level. I’ve been driving since I was little. I hosted a TV series when I was a teenager. I’ve always been around horses, but the level of riding that happens in Yellowstone is so different. I mean, a lot of the actors on that show are actual cowboys or became cowboys. Taylor is demanding and asks for a level of authenticity that I believe is quite rare and extraordinary. Last weekend I just did something incredible from a human experience where I got to participate in what’s called the World Cup of Cutting, where you basically take a horse and drive it over the head of the cattle and bring out one cow. . Cutting is something that really fascinates Taylor. The team of people around him, the bullies and the various people involved in Yellowstone, are really serious cowboys and ranchers. And one of them called me to say: “Hey, are you going to be a part of this contest?” They trained me for it.
DEADLINE Who? How did you do?
I got the second place. I’m super proud of it. The reality is, I look at a movie like Dances with Wolves and what Kevin Costner did in that movie. You can’t fake it. I mean, they have doubles, but he did a lot with those buffs. That’s an extraordinary level of riding. So my responsibility in playing John Dutton Jr. is that I have to have that level of ability. You can’t completely fake it. Cole is an extraordinary rider. Most of the actors can now drive at an insane level.
What did Taylor say in terms of how he wanted you to portray a younger John Dutton?
I don’t think he has too many preconceived notions about what you’re going to do. He has incredibly clear ideas about what characters are. At the same time, I think he was already decently happy with the little bits and pieces I had done before we started. But at the same time, the conversations I had with him got much deeper, quite quickly, that weren’t based on Taylor’s questions. They were based on me. I wanted to understand was he darker? He was more angry? Who was he at that moment? The death of his wife was a crushing element in the family, so devastating to the children. Beth becomes Beth in that singular moment. I think all the different characters break in a way. And so I said. Is John single? And Taylor kind of barked at me and said, “he’s too busy to be single.”
DEADLINE So how much longer are we going to see you?
I don’t know how much longer after the eighth episode. I hope for many more. I love doing the show, but I don’t think anyone knows. I think it’s all in Taylor’s head. My understanding is that Taylor drives down the road, pulls over and just writes. I know what Taylor has told me is that he wants to fill in the blanks about who John Dutton is and why he does what he does. I think it flows from him, but I also think it’s been in him for a long time. I think this is a unique vision.
DEADLINE You have an incredible, impressive job, but dude, you keep house for a lot of people. As a speaker, how did that concert change your life?
Home Depot is the ultimate great job. We as actors have these rare moments when we get good work. Work is work, you know what I mean? It pays, right? It’s not necessarily the most creative or interesting thing or anything. At one point in my career, I did Hugo Boss’s voice and I would say. “Hugo, yes, the world is getting smaller. It smells better.” Thanks to that, I earned $60,000 in one year. I didn’t make a dime as an actor except for that record, and because of that record I was able to train, to be in small plays. Home Depot has not only paid the bills, but also allowed me to be a little more creatively selective. And I have nothing but crazy respect for that work, in part because I’ve also been a part of this company and seen it evolve and change over the years. They have been very kind to me and extremely professional. I don’t want to connect the dots, but one of the things I really love and respect about Yellowstone is that you see the work that goes into it, these people who get up at four in the morning and work hard. : Oddly enough, the truth of that experience is what I experienced with Home Depot. So that’s an interesting connection.