We had the chance to chat with Luke Grimes and Kelsey Asbille, stars of Yellowstone.
They discussed in detail how Kayce and Monica are healing after their terrible Yellowstone Season 2 ordeal, as well as what the future might hold for both characters.
Read all about it below!
So at the end of last season, Kayce was asked to do a lot of damage to the Beck brothers, trying to get their son back. But whenever we returned to the season and the third season, both Kayce and Monica seemed to be happy and settled on the ranch after such a terrifying ordeal.
Why do you think they adapted so easily and so fast?
Luke: I think, when I was reading that the finale for Season 2, I was thinking, hopefully, this could do one of two things. It could either drive them further apart, or such a big, traumatic experience could bring them closer together. And I think the latter is what happened.
I think they realized they're better as a team, and the Tate experience actually brought them closer. And I also think their big priority right now is how they can heal through that experience. And so for that to drive a wedge between them would be really counterproductive to that.
I think they're just trying to get the family unit really tight and to go out and help him heal and also heal their marriage and get their family in a place where they feel close.
And in conjunction with that, Kelsey, everybody was wondering, how is Monica going to handle John after that? Is she going to blame him?
And they had that really moving scene in the hallway where it seems like her entire experience with the family now has changed, and she sees them in an entirely different light. Can you talk a little bit about that and whether or not we should expect that to continue?
Kelsey: Yeah, definitely. I think she has been incredibly reluctant even to really make amends with John after they have such a complicated history.
But I think that what she's learned throughout the past two seasons is also that they might have more in common than they think, especially when it comes to fighting for their families. And seeing the Duttons come together to bring back her son was a really important moment for their relationship.
And also just seeing his vulnerabilities. I think that even in that conversation between the two of them, what it takes for him to say he's sorry. And more than anything, this is what she's been fighting for. She's won, we call it the summer camp, but even if it's not going to last, just to be happy in this moment with the three of them.
And coming up, she kind of realizes that, although it will be great if they could kind of live this fantasy life that they've taken on at the summer camp, that really can't last.
But given all of that, how will they be changed as a result of going back to the ranch and Kayce's position as livestock commissioner?
Luke: You know, I think it's just another hurdle for them. They really can't figure out where they fit in, and that's sort of been the issue with them from the beginning.
And I think Kayce, by taking on a little bit more responsibility, was just trying to do the right thing and trying to sort of man up and become who he thinks he should become to be the best asset for his family.
But a lot of times, it seems to be to the detriment of his relationship with Monica. And I think what happens is he starts to kind of find his own path and figure out a way that he can do things in a way that that does resonate well with him and with his own family.
Have you noticed that John seems to look at Kayce and Monica as everything that he wasn't? He wants to encourage them to have the family and accept the ranch and to make a loving go of it.
But at the same time, he also wants to push Kayce kind of into his own footsteps. How do you think that dichotomy will eventually work itself out?
Kelsey: Yeah. You see that kind of that generational concern? I feel like what his hope for the Dutton Ranch is, in general, is that it's his role to carry it on and Kayce's and kids' and so forth.
And I think that the struggles that he has had to face are going to be different from ours. And the kind of the enemy of the season is one where, can he win? Can he win this time?
Also interesting, I think, was when there was a scene between Kayce and John, when, after one of the Wolf encounters, and Kayce let it slip that he loved his father. He said it out loud. That was kind of new.
How did that go down on set, and what was the preparation like for that?
Luke: I was actually really surprised when I read it too. Because you just don't really hear, A) Kayce speaking like that to John, or B) any male character speaking to any other male character on the show like that. So it's kind of a really cool, welcome little moment that I didn't see coming.
And I think it just shows in this first part of season three, with all this, we keep saying the word healing, going on. Another thing that is healing is Kayce and John's relationship. And we got to see that a lot in season two as well, but for him just to be able to say, "I love you," that is a pretty big deal.
And there's a lot of symbolism with that wolf going on. Not really sure what's happening there. He has been sneaking up on Monica and Kayce in some of their most vulnerable positions.
I know Kayce hasn't wanted to kill the wolf, but he knows he might have to, and Monica stops him, putting love before killing. I really liked that scene. What can we expect? What is this symbolizing? You don't have to lay it out on the line, but what are your thoughts on it?
Luke: You know, I really loved reading some of that stuff because it was just different, and I didn't see it coming. And I don't really know, to be honest with you, what Taylor was feeling or thinking when he was writing that.
And I actually wouldn't even want to ask him because part of any good sort of poetry is the idea of what it could mean. And I loved the poetic vibe that the beginning of season three has.
Kelsey: Yeah, I think that's a really great question. I think it goes to show also how they kind of complete each other and that there is this kind of bond, that you need both parts of them to really make this relationship work, and how they actually make each other better.
And also because there seems to be a constant threat to their happiness and their livelihood, and that the best way forward is together.
I think that scene actually does show that that they're yin and yang for each other.
Kelsey: Yeah, exactly. You said it better than me.
No, you said it very well because I wouldn't have even thought about that until you said it. So, yay. Thank you.
We haven't caught up with Monica's family for a while, and unless I'm wrong, she did quit her job on the spot there with her students after being disgusted with their noses and their cell phones.
What is going to fulfill Monica going forward? If Kayce's with his livestock commissioner job and battling the big family demon that has moved in across the way, where is she going to find her center outside of the family?
Kelsey: Right. Yeah. She's been kind of in this concept mode of survival and trauma as well. So I think now that she's had this moment of healing, that it is what will fulfill her. Also, what are her duties to her community, as well as her profession?
So I think it's something that, as she sees Kayce take on this role and also recognizes that there is something that he likes in it as well, is like, how do they move forward into the next stage of their lives to sustain this wellbeing?
And Luke, you mentioned, the males don’t show a lot of love for each other, and Kayce and Rip had some contentious scenes whenever they were battling out who's going to be running the ranch.
And now Kayce's going to be moving on a little bit, and he has been instrumental in allowing Rip to take some more of that control back. How do you think Kayce is going to feel letting go a little bit and being off of the ranch? Because he really loves it.
Luke: The whole arc this season is about watching Kayce grow up in certain ways and sort of try to grow into his potential. And running the bunkhouse, I don't think was ever... It wasn't the way his life was going to go.
And as much as he loves to get out and cowboy and be outside and be on horseback, I think he also knows that he could probably serve his family better in a different way, and to take on more responsibility and continue to learn and grow.
And so that's sort of what you see him do. You're going to see him start to dress a little different, be in a little different scenery than you're used to, got a lot of scenes at the desk this year. He's going into his brother and sister's world a little and seeing how he does there.
And that's a perfect segue to another question I have. We don't often see the siblings interacting despite how close they are on the ranch. Their proximity is close, but their relationships are not.
Will Kayce grow closer to or work more closely with Jamie because of their higher positions now off of the ranch?
Luke: Yeah. He's going to be working directly with him with that job title.
But, it's Yellowstone, so nothing is that predictable. As much as they think they're going to be working together, it's just never what you think it's going to be.
Oh, good to know. And you know, we have to talk about the season three trailer because Monica is in a little bit of trouble coming up, and there's that scene where she's fighting off an attacker after standing out on the highway somewhere.
Fans are worried that we're seeing Kayce and Monica embrace their happiness only to be cut down again. I know you can't tell me what's going to happen. But can you give us a hint of when we might see these scenes? And how long we have to wait to ensure she's safe or not?
Kelsey: Right. [laughs] They really should look at that, how they fall into these similar patterns. It's really not healthy. Yeah. I think that she does end up in a situation, one in which she aims to help, and it backfires on her a little bit.
And actually really, I'm trying not to give too much away, but I think that also, it's actually almost a situation where you see maybe Monica trying to fix the situation in a Kayce way that backfires on her.
Kelsey: Actually, yeah. It's actually kind of ironic because it ends up being that Kayce is the one who really shows her... Or it just kind of turned around where Kayce is showing her, that's not the right way. Yeah. I don't know if that answers your question.
It absolutely does. And it also shows that the relationship is going to continue growing, which is another question that a lot of fans have.
We've seen them grow together sexually; they have that down pat right now, but are they going to continue speaking with each other, and not holding things back from each other so that they don't run into the situation where they've got separated in the past?
Kelsey: Yeah, definitely.
Luke: Yeah. I think it was like we were talking about, sometimes things can pull you apart, and sometimes they can put you closer together. And when you're on the Yellowstone, there's always something that's going to happen.
And I think that's sort of the fun, just watching them navigate through all this stuff. But yeah, you're right. The beginning of season three, they're just really enjoying each other, and that was fun.
Well, that's good. And I heard that you two are close friends whenever you're not doing those scenes, so hopefully, they're not awkward.
Luke: No, it's not bad. We're good friends.
Kelsey: Yeah, they're honestly not. Yeah, exactly. He's one of my best buds, so we have a great time.
And when you are filming, you're in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I wonder, what do you do for fun if you're already kind of having all that fun on set? What do you guys do whenever you step away from it?
Luke: Well, there's a lot of really pretty places up there and a lot of really good day trips where we're at, Hot Springs and places to camp and stuff like that. And we were shooting a lot in Utah.
We were in Park City, which is a real hopping little sort of vacation town. So there's always something to do, always plenty going on. But a lot of us are really good friends now. And so there's a lot of hanging out that's going on when we're up there.
And I also just read an interview with Taylor Sheridan, who said that he's looking at maybe another two seasons worth. What do you guys hope to accomplish with your characters’ lives before the show takes its bow? What would you like to see?
Kelsey: Good question.
Luke: I think I would just like to see Monica and Kayce beat all the odds and end up together and have their family unit be intact. That would be really nice. And beyond that, I just really enjoy the not knowing at all or not having any clue where the thing is going; it's a real joy to sort of experience it that way.
Kelsey: Yeah. I think that it's safe to say with Taylor that you cannot... Don't expect the conventional happy ending, for sure. [laughs] But that's what makes it exciting. So, I guess we'll just kind of wait along with y'all, see what happens.
It sounds good to us. I want to thank you guys so much for taking the time to chat with me today, and I can't wait to see what happens with the rest of the season!
Kelsey: Thank you so much for the insight you gave on our characters.
Absolutely. Thanks so much. Oh, and by the way, the Facebook page, the Yellowstone Bunkhouse, wants to make sure that you guys know that they're thinking about you all the time. Huge fan base.
Luke: They're sweet. That's awesome.
Kelsey: They are the best; they're so on top of it. Tell them thanks so much.
Yellowstone Season 3 continues Sunday nights at 9/8c on Paramount Network.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.