“The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, and we have a lot of cliffhangers and new people to come in and disrupt all of that,” the American Horror Story alum, 44, exclusively told Us Weekly at the show’s season 5 premiere in New York City. “I think it’s the most exciting and the most intense [season].”
The American Beauty actor noted that much of the drama arises from John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) new role as governor of Montana. “I think it’s more dangerous because the inflection point’s coming for John, and this is his last game,” Bentley explained. “Something he never wanted to do was be a politician. It’s his desperate Hail Mary pass. … The tension is rising.”
Meanwhile, Bentley’s character, Jamie Dutton, is dealing with the fallout from his season 4 murder of his biological father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton). The killing seemingly ended any chance of a reconciliation between Jamie and his sister, Beth (Kelly Reilly), who has photographic proof of the crime.
“I think Jamie’s always — maybe more than [Beth] — felt like there was some reconciliation and love there that he could come back to,” the Interstellar actor told Us. “But her having him kill his father is the breaking point, and whatever love he had for her is gone. Whatever hope he had for her is gone. And more than that, I think he’s angry and he wants her to pay.”
Jamie has a history of letting his family get the best of him, but Bentley hopes that changes in the future. “Every scene I read, it’s like, ‘What are you doing, man? Fight back!’” the Arkansas native quipped. “But we all get in these moments where something keeps you from that. And Jamie, it’s hard to play him for that reason.”
It seems like Jamie might finally get his chance to fight, though, as he attempts to stop John from taking complete control of Montana. “I think the illusion of John being this hero as bigger than life [and] stronger than my character crumbled,” Bentley explained. “And now [Jamie] is just desperately trying to help save the state from his father.”
At the very least, Jamie can take comfort in knowing that his adoptive dad may have to eat his words regarding politicians and lawyers. “John has always hated on politicians and lawyers, and said they were worthless people,” Bentley told Us. “For him then to turn and become one, Jamie sees that not as a power move, but as a weakness move.”
Season 5 of Yellowstone premieres on Paramount Network Sunday, November 13, at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Leanne Aciz Stanton