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The Real Reason Taylor Sheridan Cast Dabney Coleman In Yellowstone Season 2

Taylor Sheridan has brought in some impressive names to portray members of the Dutton clan, including Kevin Costner and Tim McGraw as two of the family's patriarchs across history. Family is core to the world of "Yellowstone," and one of the show's most gripping moments to show that was the death of John Dutton Sr., father to Costner's rancher. 

In the "Yellowstone" Season 2 finale (titled "Sins of the Father") — which was directed by Stephen Kay and written by Sheridan and Eric Beck — Dabney Coleman portrayed the elder Dutton in the final moments of his life. Despite being sick and seemingly homebound, the younger Dalton (Costner) springs his father, gives him some whiskey courage, and the two take a ride. Looking out at the vast landscape before them, the father dies next to his father. 

It's a powerful moment, bridging two generations of Duttons together and Dabney Coleman does a lot with very little. That should come as no surprise considering the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor's massive filmography, including everything from "WarGames" to Tony Scott's "Domino," per IMDb. personal as it was professional. Sheridan explained the story behind the Hollywood legend's casting in the Paramount Network series, which marked a reunion for the two. 

Sheridan appreciated his first working experience with Coleman

According to Sheridan, Coleman reached out to him in hopes of working together on something. This was approximately 20 years after Sheridan had guest starred on a show called "The Guardian," in which Coleman starred. Sheridan appeared in a second season episode ("Back in the Ring") in 2003, and he appreciated his experience with Coleman years later," via IMDb

"I had worked with Dabney many, many years ago, almost 20 years ago, as one of the young pups. He's a Texas guy and was such a gifted, giving actor and I was really struck by how good he was, and how kind he was, to this kid who was guest starring on his deal," Sheridan explained to Deadline

The writer added that he's actually hired multiple people on his own shows — which also include titles like "Mayor of Kingstown" and "1883" — that he remembered as being fair to him when he was a struggling actor, explaining a TV set requires a familial feeling not as common when making films. 

"That's the thing about TV that's different from films. A film crew and cast never really has time to become a family, whereas in a TV series where you're working together for years, you're watching people's kids grow up. It really does become family," Sheridan said.