Yellowstone Star Breaks Down Summer’s Role in the Dutton Family
In a recent interview, Yellowstone star, Piper Perabo, breaks down animal rights activist Summer Higgins' new role in the Dutton family.
Yellowstone star, Piper Perabo, recently discussed how Summer fits into the Dutton family dynamic. Perabo stars as Summer Higgins, an animal rights activist who was faced with years of incarceration after an arrest at a protest due to Beth Dutton’s (Kelly Reilly) manipulation. Season 5 saw John Dutton (Kevin Costner) free Summer from prison as one of his first acts as Governor of Montana. She is ordered to serve under house arrest on the Yellowstone ranch and takes a position as an adviser to the Governor. During that time, she rekindles a romantic relationship with John.
Variety caught up with Perabo who broke down Summer’s role in the Dutton family as Yellowstone season 5 continues. The actor admitted that Summer’s loneliness is a driving factor for her character this season, explaining how John’s acceptance of her, despite their differences, allows her to integrate into the family. Read what Perabo had to say below:
One thing I realized at the beginning of the season was when Summer gets out of prison, the only one there is John, and it’s not like John brings her to his house and she calls her folks or her friends. She doesn’t call anybody, she just starts living there on that ranch. And because of that, I went with this idea of the loneliness of Summer’s character. And so that really helped inform the scenes I have with Monica (Kelsey Asbille). Even why she kind of puts up with Beth as much as she does, Summer doesn’t really seem to have anybody else. John respects her, and so that gives her some standing, and she’s sort of friends with Gator (Gabriel Guilbeau). That’s about it. And so I think there’s a real desire for family that Summer can see. As fucked up as the Duttons are, everybody’s family is kind of fucked up, and families are still the rock of a lot of things, even if it’s your chosen family and not your family of origin. So I don’t think Summer wants to let go of what she’s found, because I’m not sure she has it anywhere else.
How Will Summer Affect John Going Forward?
Although season 5 saw John become Governor and take an oath to place the state of Montana above all personal desires, his true purpose of attaining the executive position was to assure the security of the Yellowstone ranch indefinitely. John has dedicated his life to the property, land that his family settled over 100 years prior, as seen in the prequel limited series, 1883. John believes that his land is sacred to his family and will proudly give his life to maintain Dutton ownership.
As pressure mounts from Market Equities and the Broken Rock reservation, as well as from Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) who has called for the impeachment of his father, Summer provides John an outlet for his emotional grievances. She allows him an avenue to de-stress as the world seemingly closes in on him and the Yellowstone ranch. Although Summer promised John that romance was off-the-table after he released her from prison into his custody, John’s patience and understanding with Summer brought the two back together, culminating with a kiss at the State Fair.
However, Summer’s presence in the Yellowstone ranch’s big house provides Beth with a source of irritation. Although Beth clearly wants the best for her father, Reilly previously explained that Beth sees Summer as a threat to both the family and their way of life as ranchers. However, Beth and Summer’s all-out after dinner brawl helped bring the two rivals closer together. When Yellowstone season 5 returns this summer, audiences will see how Summer’s relationship with John and Beth evolves.