Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Yellowstone's Kai Caster Was Drawn To Rowdy's Mysterious Nature

In the marrow of its bones, "Yellowstone" is a show that's as much about living with the past as it is about preparing for the future. Like many other neo-westerns, its ensemble of characters has rich and layered backstories that play into why they are who they are today. Because of this, even the most minor additions that creator Taylor Sheridan puts into his characters can be pivotal.

Kai Caster understands this. Though his character, Rowdy, isn't a major addition to Season 5 of "Yellowstone" on his own, he serves as the lynchpin that binds several key characters together up until the present day. After all, if a young Rip (Kyle Red Silverstein) hadn't murdered him, he wouldn't have gotten the brand, and he might not even be on the ranch anymore at all.

Still, Caster told Pop Culturalist that he connected to the more shadowy elements of Rowdy when trying to get into his "Yellowstone" character's headspace. "I'm always drawn to those more mysterious, darker roles that have some texture and depth to them," Caster explained. "When Taylor called me about Rowdy, he really explained it like that."

Rowdy helps to cement the connections between Rip, John, and Beth

When Rowdy is first introduced in the flashbacks that permeate Season 5 of "Yellowstone," he seems like he only exists as a background ranch hand. However, after a young Beth Dutton (Kylie Rogers) hooks up with him out of spite for Rip Wheeler, the true reason for his character's genesis is slowly revealed. Still, Taylor Sheridan did not want Rowdy to be too obvious or on the nose.

"Taylor was pretty clear when he was discussing the role with me that he didn't want anything to be point blank or right in your face," Kai Caster explained. "He wants people to wonder what's going on in Rowdy's head." One could argue that Rip wanted to know what was going on in Rowdy's head so badly that he cracked it open with a rock.

In all seriousness, this murder and Rip's subsequent confession to John Dutton (Josh Lucas) made Rip who he is today. Despite serving as something of a plot device, Rowdy still has an agency of his own that makes him feel like a real part of "Yellowstone," and Caster appreciated that.

"That's one of the cool things as an actor: getting to figure out how you can show your character figuring things out in their head," Caster went on. "Rowdy does that a lot. I love that complexity," the actor concluded.