Yellowstone Season 4: Go Behind The Scenes Of The Special Effects Makeup That Bring The Characters To Life

If there’s one thing that makes Yellowstone so damn good, other than the music, fantastic writing and great actors, it’s the attention to detail.

Their special effects are top notch, and the quality execution of each and every scene is what makes it all so believable. And, of course, without good makeup, none of the special effects would even matter. I’ve always been fascinated by makeup and what it can do for people, but their special effects makeup is on another level.

If there’s one character who seems to get more bumps and bruises than anyone else, it’s the one and only Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly). Easily her worst attack on the show to date (and there’s been a lot), was at the end of season 3 and beginning of the current season when a bomb goes off in her office.

She starts this season looking absolutely mangled from the explosion, and ends up with a massive burn on her back from the fire. Abigail Steele, who’s a special effects makeup artist for Yellowstone, shows a little bit of that process and how they created that burn.

She also talked about some of Beth’s other scars and how they bring all the blood and guts to life:

“This is the scar that was under Beth’s eye from season 3. And it had to be slight enough, that even with the nuance of her expression, that it would move with her face like a real scar would.

And it was one of my favorite pieces, because she wore it through the whole season. It did change size five times, so we had five different versions of it. And it was just beautiful, and even into season 4, it wasn’t a piece that she wore, but a color.

And it tells a story. This scar tells a story. That the pain that she wore still remains on the outside.”

In the clip, Kelly talks about the fact that Beth keeps most of her emotions and experiences to herself and doesn’t really talk about them with other people. Makeup in general can be a great way to hide imperfections (physically and otherwise), but in Beth’s case, it allows her to tell a story without words.

Abigail says that was done intentionally:

“Kelly and I had a conversation about that. And it was really unfiltered. And then we both were like, you know what, we should tell people about your scars and how they tell a story that’s bigger than just something that’s cool and looks cool in a makeup way.

It is so much deeper, and there’s something so beautiful about scars that are worn and not covered up.”

These awesome artists are incredible at what they do, too, because the transitions of the makeup over time are absolutely seamless. The amount of detail that must go into making sure every character has makeup that is accurate that not only runs throughout the episodes, but even other seasons, is mind blowing.

Kelly says you can see some of Beth’s progression in terms of emotion by the scars on her face and body. Even though she’s a badass who often seems like nothing gets to her, deep down, some of those emotional scars never truly fade:

“We saw in season 2 how much of a survivor she is. And then for season 3, I still have the bruises, so they sort of start to fade throughout the show.

But, it’s the emotional scars that take a longer time to heal. I think Beth, this season, has sort of an invincible quality to her.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock