Why ‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Directly Calls Up A-List Stars for His Projects

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan currently is juggling nine shows. He says the work — and creativity needed for it — probably isn’t sustainable.

But he should be able to maintain one dimension of this extraordinarily busy time in his life. He’ll probably always be able to dial up an A-lister and entice him/her to be in one of his creations.

Think about it. Taylor Sheridan did this with Kevin Costner when he put Yellowstone on the air at Paramount. Back in 2018, the trend of big movie stars acting on the small screen hadn’t taken off, as yet.

These days, Sheridan says he knows he’s the best salesman of his work. So he picks out a big name and sells a project.

“I don’t think anyone can speak to my projects better than me,” Sheridan told Variety in an interview published this week. “So I might as well just cut out the middleman and just call myself.”

After Yellowstone Launched, Taylor Sheridan Kept Getting A-Listers

Sheridan secured the services of Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner for Mayor of Kingstown. And he landed country music superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for 1883, the Yellowstone sequel. Sam Elliott also signed on to portray aging cowboy Shea Brennan.

Meanwhile, Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton, after playing a sheriff in 1883, will lead Sheridan’s show called Land Man. David Oyelowo has won Critics Choice and Screen Actor’s Guild acting awards and has nominations from the Emmys and Golden Globes. He’ll star in Bass Reeves, a series about the first Black U.S. Marshal to work west of the Mississippi.

There still are several more huge names attached to a Sheridan-created show. He secured the services of Rocky icon Sylvester Stallone for Tulsa King. Stallone will be playing a mid-level NYC mafia boss exiled to Oklahoma after serving 25 years in prison. It took about a week for Sheridan to bring Stallone on board and sell the series to the bosses at Paramount+. He phoned Stallone at his Florida home, sent him the pilot script and had him hooked.

Sheridan said Stallone gushed “‘I love it. When do we shoot it?’” Production for Tulsa King started last month.

Sheridan wasn’t finished making calls. He reached out to Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Zoe Saldana for Lioness. Sheridan based the series on a real-life CIA initiative.

Costner Sings Sheridan’s Praises

Of course, Kevin Costner will sing the praises of Taylor Sheridan and Yellowstone. It was easy to pull him away to the small screen.

“I don’t start something unless I think it has a chance to be great,” Costner told Variety. “I felt that the people that would see it would appreciate it. But when something gets this kind of extra kick… you can’t predict that.”

There were other reasons Costner signed on with Taylor Sheridan and Yellowstone.

“I saw that the dialogue had a fun, realistic approach to it. It was raw. It was dysfunctional. … And it was set against the backdrop of mountains and rivers and valleys and people on horseback, which is very appealing.

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