Yellowstone star shares real-life insight into brutal Jimmy and Rip brand scene

After an impressive tenure on the Paramount Network, Yellowstone has made its CBS debut with re-runs of the hit western series.


Yellowstone’s Jefferson White has opened up what really happened behind the scenes when his character Jimmy Hurdstram was branded by Rip Wheeler (played by Cole Hauser).

The brutal scene occurred in the show’s pilot episode when John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) right-hand man recruited him to join them as a ranch hand.

When Jimmy opened the door to find the cowboy at his trailer he was tasered and given an ultimatum.

As a result of his legal troubles, Rip asked the youngster if he would rather head to jail or work on the Yellowstone ranch.

When Jimmy asked: “Why would John Dutton give a s*** about me,” Rip hit back: “He doesn’t,” as he opened his shirt to reveal his own branding, adding: “But he will.”

As this took place, the cowboy was waving a flamed iron rod with the Yellowstone brand ready to press it on Jimmy’s skin.

Following the season one premiere on CBS, the stars Hurdstram and Hauser opened up about the scene for an episode of Behind the Story.

Speaking on the significance of the branding, the Rip Wheeler star stated: “You’re branded, you’re in for life. I wouldn’t call it a gang, it’s more a family.”

Elsewhere, Hurdstram lifted the lid on how the crew was able to create the effect of Jimmy getting initiated and his skin being charred.



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The actor shared: “The way that they figured out to do the special effect of the hot brand was to actually superheat a piece of metal.

“I was holding a sort of wooden panel directly below the frame, that they were actually pressing a superheated iron into.

“It was the only way they could get the steam effect they wanted,” Hurdstram added.

As a result, Jimmy was left with a hooked Y on his skin as a harsh reminder he now belonged to Yellowstone.

Although, he initially thought of it as a punishment, Jimmy later learned the branding meant he was untouchable around the ranch.

It offered him a mandatory level of respect but as a result, he was expected to be wholly loyal and do whatever it took to protect the Dutton ranch

As well as Rip and Jimmy, other ranch hands including Lloyd Pierce (Forrie J. Smith), and Walker (Ryan Bingham) were also branded.

However, season three saw Wade Morrow (Boots Sutherland) have his branding savagely removed after he betrayed the Dutton family. 

Yellowstone seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Paramount Plus.


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