Yellowstone Star Reveals How Real-Life Arrest Influenced On-Screen Storyline

In Season 4 of Yellowstone, Piper Perabo’s environmental activist Summer Higgins was sentenced to 15 years in prison for civil disobedience only for Governor John Dutton (Kevin Costner) to commute her sentence to house arrest — at his house, the Yellowstone ranch — in Season 5. It’s an interesting series of events for the character, who is now serving as John’s environmental advisor as well as is his love interest, and according to Perabo, Summer’s arrest storyline was unexpectedly influenced by her own experience with a protest arrest. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Perabo explained how it was her own arrest in 2018 during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that ended up having an influence on Summer’s story.

“Taylor is one of those writers where you really have no idea where it’s going. He and I knew each other socially, because my husband [Stephen Kay] works on Yellowstone [as a director-executive producer,]” she said. “I had told Taylor over dinner this story of how I got arrested when I protested the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. And he was really interested. Taylor’s one of those cowboy-poet styles, an old spirit who loves a good yarn. When he hears a good story that he hasn’t heard before, he wants all the details. So, I told him the story, and I didn’t really know what he was going to do with it or where it was going to go.”

Perabo also was arrested after she was already on Yellowstone, something she said was like “layering” the incidents.

“I think I got arrested for Jane Fonda once I was already doing Yellowstone,” she said of her November 2019 arrest during one of Fonda’s climate change protests. “So, one kind of kept layering on top of the other.”

When will Yellowstone return with new episodes?

Fans will have a little bit of a wait for the remaining episodes of Season 5 of Yellowstone. On Sunday, Paramount Network released a teaser for the upcoming back half of Season 5, revealing that the series will return sometime this summer. A specific date was not given.

Perabo previously revealed that production on the second half of the season hasn’t yet begun but did tease that there is a “lot coming” when the series does return.

“There’s a lot coming. Things are on the move,” Perabo told TV Insider. “I can’t wait to get back to the back half just because I want to know what happens. I personally only know what happens up to the midseason finale up to that last second, and I don’t know what happens when we come back…. I think you can tell that things are going really south because [the seventh] episode doesn’t end at the fair; it ends with him practicing that speech. And Taylor’s very good — if you’re paying attention, he’s telling you where the trouble’s coming from. I think the fact that he ends with that scene is, for those paying attention, he’s showing you.”


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