The Yellowstone star has another juicy role in the Prime Video series.
Will Patton is bad news. Again.
Fresh from his arc on Yellowstone as Garrett Randall, the manipulative biological father of Jamie Dutton, the veteran character actor is again sounding a note of discord in the Prime Video drama Outer Range. He’s effectively cast as Wayne Tillerson, a wealthy Wyoming rancher who covets a stretch of land owned by his long-time neighbor and adversary, Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin). Both men have strong ties to their families and their property. And both men share an interest in the mysterious black void that has recently appeared in Abbotts’ west pasture.
We recently had a brief chat with Will Patton during a virtual junket for Outer Range. Here are some highlights from our short conversation.
Cowboys & Indians: Will, what’s going on? After playing such a deeply religious fellow in Minari, you’ve been a very naughty boy. First in Yellowstone, and now Outer Range. Are we looking at this as the Mr. Bad Vibes period of your career?
Will Patton: [Laughs] Well, I think all of them have more than one thing going on with them. The guy in Minari actually had quite a dark past, even though that’s not really explored. And the guy in Yellowstone — in some ways, his behavior was somewhat heroic in terms of that show, even though he was a killer. And the guy in Outer Range, there's definitely a lot more to him than meets the eye. So I’d say, they all got a lot of different things going on.
C&I: Well, I must admit: In Yellowstone, your exit actually did have me feeling sorry for your character, which I certainly did not expect.
C&I: And I don’t want to ask too many specific questions about Wayne Tillerson, your character in Outer Range, for the benefit of any reader who hasn’t watched all of the available episodes yet. But I think it’s safe to say that, while he may be a bad guy, he has an inkling right from the very first episode that something even worse is going on.
Will: Right. Yeah. There's definitely some of us in the show, I think, who are clued into some kind of — let's call it a vibration, that some of us are feeling maybe more than others. It’s a sense of some reality beyond regular perceptions.
C&I: When you were first offered the script for Outer Range, what was your reaction after, “What the hell is this?”
Will: Oh, I loved the writing. I think that [series creator Brian Watkins] has a real sense of what good literature is, which is hard to find in a television writer sometimes. But the writing’s just fantastic. I resisted the character at first. But I began to find, like I say, layers inside of him that interested me. And knowing I’d have to put myself on the line, the way that it was extreme - I dove in.
C&I: Of course, I can’t help thinking when you read the scene description that we’d being seeing you lying in a hospital bed wearing a cowboy hat…
Will: [Laughs] Yeah. Right. Break all the rules, you know? Yeah. It seemed like a good kind of picture of me for the introduction. I did like that.
C&I: Again, right from the start, you and Josh Brolin develop an effectively edgy give and take. You immediately believe these guys have a past. How did you two work this out? I mean, did you ask Brian Watkins for directions, or did you get together and come up with a backstory on your own, or what?
Will: I think both of us trusted each other to be sort of on the same wavelength, in terms of what we were imagining, what that mystery is that connected us, which is pretty profound. Things are not what they seem on the surface. And I think Josh might have had his secret about what it was, and I might have had my secret about what it was, and they probably bopped off of each other pretty well.