ICYMI: Lainey Wilson Makes Her Acting Debut on Yellowstone

Recent CMA winner, Lainey Wilson makes her acting debut on the season 5 premiere of hit show, Yellowstone. Get all the info here!


On November 13th, the hit show, Yellowstone returned to the silver screen to share more about the lives of the Dutton Family and the drama surrounding their Montana Ranch. This season we will also be seeing country music’s very own Lainey Wilson in a recurring role on the show!

On premiere night, the songstress-turned-actress made her acting debut as Abby, an artist who performed at the celebration party for the newly-elected Governor of Montana, John Dutton (Kevin Costner). 

It was surely a bucket-list week for the “Things a Man Oughta Know” singer who just days before the Yellowstone excitement, took home New Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2022 Country Music Awards. Tune in to Yellowstone weekly to catch Wilson on the show and learn more of the details and developments of her character, Abby. 

The season 5 two-hour premiere saw John Dutton sworn in as the new Governor of Montana. Reluctant and more or less forced into the position that even he confirms should have been his son Jamie’s, John is not thrilled about what the next four years will look like, to say the least. Unhappy with staff members that were chosen for him because he didn’t want to choose them himself, and unaware of policies that he has so-called ‘agreed with’, he is quick to make drastic changes in his early days as governor. As cut-throat as you could assume and in classic Dutton fashion, John quickly makes it clear – to the public who may assume, but quite literally to his own family – that he is going to do what is right for the Ranch, first and foremost.

As reluctant as he may be, there would be no getting around the party to celebrate the successful campaign. Even though John sees the night as work, lucky for the Ranch hands, the party is held right in their backyards. Here for the open bar but not the formal dining, the Yellowstone ranch hands sneak off with other ranch hands they ran into and had some fun of their own. In some friendly competition demonstrating their lasso skills, they manage to attract a crowd of on-lookers. 

This is where we first see Lainey Wilson as Abby. Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) decides to have a smoke as she watches the boys, and as she notices Abby enjoying what she’s seeing – she asks “is that one yours?” as she gestures to Ryan (Ian Bohen). Abby comes back saying none of them are hers, because she’s too smart to date a cowboy – but she still likes to look at ‘em. Her reasoning? They’ll always love the lifestyle, the job, the horse more, and she wants to be first. As we know Beth does not agree, she soon after walks away and says she’s going to go see her cowboy now.

When Beth walks away, Ryan takes his chance to walk over to Abby. Before he can even get a word in, she tells him “it ain’t gonna work”. He is quick to charm her and she ultimately agrees to ‘just one dance’, which by the looks of it, she didn’t hate. That’s all we see of Abby in the premiere after she and Ryan dance among the others as Shane Smith & the Saints play ‘Dance the Night Away’ on stage. Abby is set to perform later, and while we don’t get to see her performance in this first episode, we have a feeling we will have the opportunity to real soon. 

Lainey Wilson revealed that the shows creator, Taylor Sheridan, created the role ‘just for her’. Sheridan had included the music of both Wilson and Shane Smith & The Saints in the series, prior to each of their appearances on camera this season. Later, Sheridan invited Wilson out to Vegas to play a horse-riding competition and the two bonded over horses. Thanks to the unique design of Abby’s character, Wilson says she essentially gets to play herself on the show. While we have only had a taste of Wilson’s character, we can not wait to see what is in store for Abby in this season of Yellowstone, from her music to her romance with Ryan.  

As far as the rest of the Duttons, Beth and Rip are seeing less and less of each other with Beth having been on the campaign trail with John and now promoted against her will to his Chief of Staff. Rip is left to clean up yet another mess of the ranch hands when they seemingly followed his orders to rid the fields of wolves that were attacking their cattle, but instead they shot and killed wolves from the park, on the now governor’s land, mere days after he is sworn in. Knowing that the radio collars need to stay moving to avoid alerting park workers, Rip’s plan to send them down the river on tree branches in the hope that they eventually fall off on their own downstream, fails when one gets caught riverside not too far away. The episode ends with viewers seeing this, so we can expect that this problem is long from over. The same goes for the Dutton’s feuds with both the reservations’ Tribal Chairman Thomas Rainwater and Market Equities CEO Caroline Warner. 

Meanwhile, Kayce and wife, Monica attempt to cope with the loss of their child – who survived all but 10 minutes in the world, as a result of a head-on-head collision when the then-pregnant Monica was driving herself and their elder son Tate to the hospital as she was experiencing excruciating labor pains three weeks ahead of her due date. 

Be sure to catch the next episode this Sunday, and continue to follow along to see what Abby is up to each week.

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