Entertainment

Jefferson White Plays the Lovable Criminal-Turned-Cowboy Jimmy on 'Yellowstone'

Jefferson White attends the premiere of TNT's "The Alienist" at iPic Theaters on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The character of Jimmy Hurdstrom on the hit Paramount Network series Yellowstone is honestly one of the highlights of the show. Actor Jefferson White has done an incredible job over the past three seasons capturing the role of Jimmy on screen, a young man who went from a junkie criminal to a cowboy, all thanks to Rip Wheeler bringing him to the Dutton family ranch to work as a ranch hand. 

Jefferson White grew up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, performing in his high school plays and participating in the school speech team and choir. After attending Iowa State University he decided to try to make it in Hollywood. His first credit on IMDB was on the TV series The Americans in 2014. He went on to appear on Manhattan, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, How to Get Away with Murder, Blue Bloods, House of Cards, Blindspot and The Alienist: Angel of Darkness. 

Jefferson White
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

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White was actually filming The Alienist in Budapest when his agents called saying that he had been asked to come to Utah to audition for a new show called Yellowstone. He ended up flying literally around the world to come in for a few minutes to read for the role of Jimmy and meet creator Taylor Sheridan in person. 

White told the Utah Film Studios that he had absolutely zero experience on a ranch or horses before he booked the role.

"It was a big shock man. I didn't know that people actually wore cowboy boots...you know what I mean? People really wear them! I thought it was like a cartoon thing you know? And it's not. People really wear those boots and those hats...I had never ridden a horse before I don't think I had ever touched a horse before and that also speaks to how sort of remarkable the wranglers are that work on our show because they got me trained up, the wranglers and trainers, got me trained up to ride in a matter of weeks."  

He says that booking the role of Jimmy really changed his life. It's understandable considering the character has a lot of depth. After living a life of crime, Jimmy gets one last chance to work for John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and in an emotional scene in the first season, agrees to be branded by Rip (Cole Hauser). He really goes through the wringer to earn his place on the ranch, even getting duct-taped to a horse at one point to see if he can hang on and prove he has what it takes to become a cowboy.

"He's brought on to the ranch and thrown into a world that is totally foreign to him. This for Jimmy is sort of a fun and exciting adventure," White told the Paramount Network

"The second Jimmy starts to believe that maybe Rip has a soft spot for him, Rip goes out of his way to pull that ladder out a little bit. Lloyd is gentler with Jimmy and sort of more forgiving and more human."

Watching Jimmy go from a nobody with no future to a branded man on the ranch and part of the Dutton extended family really has been touching to watch. This character has continued to prove himself over and over and has learned to grow into a man from Rip and Lloyd (Forrie J Smith). We can't wait to see what Tayor Sheridan has in store for him on the upcoming Yellowstone season 4. 

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Jefferson White Plays the Lovable Criminal-Turned-Cowboy Jimmy on 'Yellowstone'