Giving life to the most fascinating villain of Yellowstone so far, Garrett Randall, came from a place of understanding for veteran character actor Will Patton.
“I know that I’ve never been able to play a bad guy,” Patton broaches the subject. Very much a villain to audiences, his Randall would enter the fray during Yellowstone‘s wildly successful Season 3. And his effectiveness on screen led to the actor’s elevation to the main threat of Season 4.
As the biological father to adopted Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley), Garrett Randall would wedge himself into the heart of everything through the show’s latest, record-shattering season. Yet, again, Will Patton doesn’t see him as the villain of this story. An antagonist, sure, but one who Patton could identify with on a much deeper level.
“I have to — I think most actors, I’m assuming, have to find, ‘why am I doing what I’m doing? I believe in what I’m doing. There’s a reason for this,’” he tells Taste of Country. I’ve gotta feel that or there’s no way I can play it.”
Even with “the most extreme things,” Patton says, “I’ve got to locate why this person is doing that. And there’s some pretty extreme things in Yellowstone.”
To this end, Patton admits that he can see why Garrett Randall would resort to murder in the reality Yellowstone presents. ” I can find things with killing, unfortunately,” he tells the trade straight. But there’s a reason we’ll never see Patton playing anything beyond a murderer.
‘Yellowstone’s Garrett Randall Powerhouse, Will Patton, ‘Could Never Play’ the Worst of the Worst
As an actor, Patton says he must be able to identify with the humanity of the story he’s portraying. There has to be a connection to the motives of his character, or it’s a no-go. Buying into killing off the “poison” that some feel the Dutton family are is one thing. Giving life to a child abuser, or worse, on screen, however, isn’t something he’s going to be able to do.
“I think that’s one reason I could never play somebody who would abuse a child or keep a woman imprisoned in a basement and torture her, because I wouldn’t be able to understand how to justify that,” Patton offers. “But I can find things with killing, unfortunately.”
It helps, too, if you’ve known a few people in your life who resemble the character you’re portraying. And interestingly, Patton says there’s a fella in his personal history he was able to channel directly into Yellowstone‘s most affecting villain, Garrett Randall.
“One side of my family… [There is] an uncle in particular that is totally channeled for me. I could even possibly see him drinking Clamato. That was a kind of thing. And he had a toughness and he was wealthy, you know, and the rest of us weren’t necessarily. I definitely channeled him,” Patton reveals.
If you didn’t want to mess with the actor before, that surely seals the deal.