Will Patton starred on “Yellowstone” as Jamie’s biological father, Garrett Randall, who met an unfortunate end at his son’s hands, and on Prime Video’s new series “Outer Range,” he plays a similar character: a ruthless, miserly tyrant out to steal land from a rival rancher.
“Outer Range” follows Royal Abbott as he discovers a mysterious void in his west pasture. He keeps uncovering secret after secret, mystery after mystery, all while having to deal with the money-hungry Tillerson family that lives on the ranch next door. Will Patton plays the capitalist, opportunist Tillerson family patriarch, Wayne Tillerson.
Wayne and Royal have known each other for nearly 50 years, and even though they put up a front of amiability, there is a deep dislike that runs between them. In the first episode, titled “The Void,” Wayne serves Royal and his family with an order to surrender an acre of his west pasture. In the second episode, “The Land,” Royal goes to visit Wayne, who’s bedridden after major surgery.
Throughout their talk, Wayne alludes to the fact that he knows something is going on in the west pasture. But, he doesn’t quite know what. So, he’s being proactive, essentially, and claiming that pasture is Tillerson land. Wayne Tillerson is capricious, and claims “I want your west pasture because I want your west pasture.” He has no reason to take the land, but he has a feeling there’s something going on out there, and he wants it.
Will Patton Smoothly Transitions from One Western to Another on ‘Outer Range’
Will Patton has only been featured a few times on “Outer Range” so far. The story is mainly told through Royal Abbott’s perspective. But, when Patton is on screen, he’s perfect as the old snake Wayne Tillerson. There’s a story that Royal tells his son Perry while they’re visiting their lawyer that encapsulates Wayne Tillerson’s character in the most despicable way.
Royal describes a moment in the past where one of Wayne’s ranch hands was gored by a bull. Everyone knew he was going to die, and they couldn’t get him free. Wayne had two choices: “Shoot the bull,” says Royal, “killing valuable stock but giving the man a dignified death. Or don’t. Wayne chose the second one. Sent everyone back to work as he got dragged around on that bull ’til the ranch hand breathed his last.”
In this scene, Perry has just recommended “cozying up” to the Tillersons. He wants to give them the west pasture to get them off their backs. At this point, Royal is the only one who knows for sure what’s in the pasture. He shares the story to paint a picture of what kind of man Wayne Tillerson is, what he’ll do to get what he wants. The Abbotts are in for a long battle for that pasture, because Wayne Tillerson doesn’t quit.