The Making of the Iconic Beth and Summer Fight Scene on ‘Yellowstone’: The Unseen Challenges and Triumphs
Beth And Summer's Iconic Brawl In Yellowstone Took A Lot Of Prep To Get Right
While “Yellowstone” fans’ opinions about Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) may vary, virtually everyone who’s watched her character for any amount of time should be able to agree that she’s a lot. Beth takes things too far in “Yellowstone” Season 4, for example, when she first meets Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo), who has just spent the night with Beth’s father John Dutton (Kevin Costner). Beth’s way of greeting her dad’s new partner is to brandish a knife at her in lieu of any sort of customary introduction.
“Yellowstone” fans were curious about Summer’s Season 5 role upon its start after noticing her absence from its premiere. Ultimately, Season 5, Episode 5 sees newly-elected governor John freeing Summer from jail, after which she joins the Duttons for dinner on the family ranch. Some “Yellowstone” fans think Season 5 is all about Beth, and unsurprisingly, the Dutton family enfant terrible has an outsized reaction to Summer’s return to her household’s dinner table. In fact, Beth becomes so angry at Summer’s behavior — complaining about the meat she’s served not working for her vegan diet — that the two women end up in a fist fight.
As it turns out, for the “Yellowstone” cast and crew, coordinating this fight required a good deal of preparation to get right.
Filming Beth and Summer’s fist fight was a team effort
Shortly after Season 5’s midseason finale first aired, Summer Higgins actor Piper Perabo spoke to Variety at length about her relationship to her “Yellowstone” character. At one point, Variety asked Perabo to delve into what went into bringing Summer’s brawl with Beth to life behind-the-scenes. Perabo revealed that, more than a month out from filming, her and Kelly Reilly’s stunt doubles began choreographing the fight with the help of their on-set stunt coordinator. Perabo and Reilly then learned to replicate this fight choreography while their stunt coordinator helped them hone its finer points. Eventually, Perabo and Reilly became capable of acting out the whole sequence from start to finish on their own, save for a single stunt.
“The rehearsal process is always the hardest part. It was such a victory to get to the night where we’re like, ‘I don’t care if it’s cold. I’m sorry you’re in a sundress, but we’re finally here.’ It felt like such a victory,” Perabo said. “Although we’re kicking the living hell out of each other, it was so fun.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Perabo shared that all she knew about Season 5 prior to filming was that Summer and Beth would fight. The hard work it took to get this pivotal scene just right, then, should pay off moving forward as Beth and Summer proceed with the sort of newfound respect for one another that comes from trading blows.