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How Yellowstone's Mo Brings Plenty's Character Got His Name

Season 5 of "Yellowstone" is a big one for Native actor Mo Brings Plenty — it's his first as an official series regular, thanks to a major cast shakeup. Something else that viewers may not be aware of is the reported backstory behind his character's very familiar first name. Working as Thomas Rainwater's (Gil Birmingham) right-hand man and driver since Season 1, Mo has been a mainstay on Taylor Sheridan's Paramount+ show for nearly half a decade now. The character blossomed into a regular thanks to his captivating presence, becoming a fan favorite. "If they made a whole spinoff that centered on Mo Brings Plenty, I would watch the *hell* out of that," said Twitter user @widowwinchester, while @jCarrig14 said: "Mo is the most underrated character on YS."

For Brings Plenty, "Yellowstone" has served not just as an opportunity to display his acting skills, it's also a career-saver for him. "Just before I did take the role, I was contemplating on whether or not I was going to step away from pursuing this anymore," he revealed at the 2022 Reservation Economic Summit (via Native News Online). "And then 'Yellowstone' came about and I got the opportunity to work with Gil Birmingham, who was an amazing Native actor... And also, of course, Kevin Costner and everyone, all the cast members of that show are absolutely amazing." According to Brings Plenty, it was an on-screen moment from one of his "amazing" co-stars that wound up leading to his official character name. Read on to find out how it all played out.

Gil Birmingham called Mo Brings Plenty by his actual name during a scene

When Mo Brings Plenty first arrived on the "Yellowstone" set, his character Mo didn't have an official name. Even in the show's credits, the actor is listed simply as Rainwater's Driver up until Season 2, Episode 6. This changed after Brings Plenty did a scene with Gil Birmingham one day and Birmingham used his real name — Taylor Sheridan liked it and decided to keep it in. "During this particular scene, we were doing it and he said my name, and it happened to be our best take," explained Brings Plenty in an April 2022 interview with Cowboys & Indians magazine (via Outsider). "It was the most natural."

Speaking to The New York Times, Birmingham remembered how it was ultimately Taylor Sheridan who made the call to keep Mo's name in the long run. "When Mo is out and about, it's pretty funny because people tend to call you by your character name, and it happens to be his real name," Birmingham said. "There's no distinction there for fans." With each new season of "Yellowstone," Plenty and Birmingham's relationship gets stronger and stronger, which has led to great chemistry both on and off-screen. "Our brotherhood just, it continues to grow," Brings Plenty told Cowboys & Indians. "And I have a lot of love and respect for that guy."