Yellowstone Creator Taylor Sheridan On Native Americans: “I Don’t Think There’s A More Misrepresented Group In American Cinema”

Martin Sensmeier with long hair

There’s one thing for certain about Taylor Sheridan’s writing, whether it’s in TV shows or movies, he wants to always shed light on Native Americans, and portray them correctly, when so much of American cinemaphotography has portrayed them in a negative light.

From movies like Wind River, and Hell or High Water, to TV shows like Yellowstone and 1883, Sheridan makes sure that he does everything possible to make sure viewers have a better understanding of the Native American culture.

What he calls, the most misrepresented group in Hollywood:

“I don’t think that there is a more misrepresented group in American cinema than the Native American.

And what little I can do to correct that historical perspective in fiction, I’m gonna do.”

With that being said, Yellowstone just released a clip about how Sheridan made sure he was portraying Native Americans correctly in 1883, and it’s pretty intriguing to see everything that goes on behind the scenes.

In the video, they make it clear that they have a member of each tribe they portray on the show on set at all times, to make sure everything is portrayed correctly.

They also have somebody who brings in 100% authentic Native American dress, weaponry, saddles, and more, to give us all a better perspective of what they wore, and how they communicated back then.

Tip of the cap to Taylor:

Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone “Cowboy Camp”

If you have watched even thirty seconds of Yellowstone or 1883, it is so apparent that Taylor Sheridan does a great job of providing a realistic setting of how cowboying really is.

But how does he prepare his group for shooting in conditions they might not know anything about?

Cowboy Camp.

According to Sheridan, getting his actors cowboy ready is a non-negotiable:

“I don’t rehearse with my actors; there’s no way for me to inform them what this way of life is. You just have to do it.”

He’s got that right. There is no way to prepare or portray the realities of ranching unless you get out to a farm and experience the work yourself.

In a behind-the-scenes video, the cast of 1883 gives their stories about what Cowboy Camp really is.

“The purpose of cowboy camp is to get actors comfortable enough on the horses that they weren’t nervous when riding.

The better I can make them as a rider, the more they understand the thing they’re acting out.”

Activities of cowboy camp include learning to rope and ride, herd cows, sort cows, swimming horses, and drive wagons… all of which are, for the most part, essential aspects of the day to day of ranching.

Would it be cowboy camp without a few fun games? Cast members would play fun games of egg and spoon, where you have to balance an egg on a spoon while riding on horseback.

And while Taylor himself naturally excels beyond the skills of the cast he’s training, Tim McGraw isn’t so sure there isn’t a little foul play:

“I heard Taylor cheated when he does it. That he puts his thumb on the egg. Now, I’m not saying that it’s true… I’m just saying I heard that Taylor cheated.”

Through the help of industry professionals, these actors get a crash course in cowboying. Taylor Sheridan has a method to this madness because clearly, this acclimation makes the difference on screen.

Check out 1883’s cowboy camp here:

Check out Yellowstone’s cowboy camp here:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock