The Paramount Network's Yellowstone just couldn't get any better. From John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) to Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Kayce (Luke Grimes), the all-star cast really brings the modern Wild West to life. But let's not forget about the boys in the bunkhouse. Without the trusty ranch hands not only would no work get done, but who else would keep us laughing making fun of Jimmy (Jefferson White) for being a mediocre cowboy? One of our favorite ranch hands is Colby, played by Denim Richards.
Richards grew up in Orange County, California, and was not only a talented singer but an avid horseback rider. From an early age, it was clear that he was going to be a performer and he grew up not only singing but performing in musical theater. While it was a somewhat tough transition from the stage to in front of the camera, Richards did it and started booking TV roles after working on short films in college.
His Hollywood career was kicked off by a role in the Disney series Good Luck Charlie followed by a recurring role on Freeform's Good Trouble. But the role that Richards is best known for to date is definitely Colby in Yellowstone.
Richards told Orange Coast that it was convenient getting to audition for Yellowstone since he had just appeared in another western, his first feature film, The Chickasaw Rancher.
"I just filmed 'Chickasaw Rancher,' a period piece set around 1860, where I played a real-life cowboy named Jack Brown. So when they sent me the (lines) for my character, Colby, in 'Yellowstone,' it was easy for me to prepare for the role. I felt like I was playing Jack Brown's great-great-grandson."
"Working with Kevin Costner was excellent. It's a great opportunity to work with somebody who was at the top of his game for so many decades in the entertainment business," he said. "I feel I gained 20 years of experience being able to just be around him."
Richards explained that unlike many sets in the entertainment industry, his co-stars on Yellowstone treat everyone as equals. In their minds, if creator Taylor Sheridan chose you to be on the show, you deserve it regardless of your experience. Over the past three seasons, the entire cast has gotten incredibly close while filming up in Montana.
"Every night, the 'Yellowstone' actors get together, make a bonfire by the lake, share stories, and look at the stars. We get to live this very simple lifestyle while also living out our dream of acting, which is amazing and hard to do in California. It's usually just one or the other. That's what makes all of this a dream come true."
Outside of his hit series, Richards is also involved behind the camera. He wrote and directed the short film The Zoo, which follows the story of Black people during the Holocaust, a story that is rarely told.
"For me, The Zoo is an opportunity to talk about these types of stories and be able to start a dialogue to not only share with the world but then for us to understand what our other history is," the actor explained to Your Money Geek.
"Before all these other things in 1619, arriving in Jamestown, Virginia, in chains before this Africa was a mecca, we were kings and queens. We were inventors, we were scientists, and we were all of these amazing things. This is just an opportunity to expound upon that information, but then to also help start that dialogue."