Kelsey Asbille as Monica Dutton in 'Yellowstone'
Photo via Paramount Network

'Yellowstone': Kelsey Asbille Brings the Strong, Captivating Monica Dutton to Life

The anticipation of Yellowstone returning has viewers on the edge of their seats as we're anxious to see what the future holds for Kayce and his Native American wife, Monica Dutton. The character of Monica has been incredibly fun to watch develop over the past four seasons as she is torn between her Native American upbringing on the reservation and her relationship with the Dutton family. It looks like Yellowstone season 5 might test the couple more than they have been before. 

Monica is certainly an interesting character and one that, for some reason, has been controversial among passionate Yellowstone fans. When she and Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) first got together, her pregnancy caused a serious rift between Kayce and his father, John Dutton, that lasted years. Fans either love or hate the woman who took Kayce away from his family's empire, even though he comes back at the beginning of the series and has been working on repairing the relationship with his father ever since. Monica constantly finds herself caught between two worlds — her husband's and her own after growing up on the nearby Broken Rock Reservation. Their son Tate has also been torn between both experiences, though the end of season 4 sees the family happily moving back into their own home on the reservation. But will their newfound happiness last?

Over four seasons, Monica has proven to be a resilient woman who will do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of her family. She loves her child and her husband and, despite what some fans might say, has made her fair share of sacrifices since the series began. Kelsey Asbille has done a solid job of making Monica a character with depth through all of her ups and downs on Yellowstone.

Who is Kelsey Asbille?

Kelsey Asbille attends the 2022 CFDA Awards at Casa Cipriani on November 07, 2022 in New York City

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Kelsey Asbille Chow was born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1991. She grew up appearing in community theater productions and landed her first big gig at just 13 when she booked the recurring role of Gigi Silveri on the WB show One Tree Hill. That followed with various Disney Channel appearances on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody as well as the original movie Den Brother. Her first leading role came in 2010 in the Disney XD series Pair of Kings in the role of Mikayla. Aa couple of years later, she had a small appearance in the feature film, The Amazing Spider-man.  

Professionally, Kelsey went by the name of "Kelsey Chow" until she appeared in the film Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen. The film was directed by Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan. For both the series and Wind River, Kelsey has been credited as "Kelsey Asbille."

In 2017, The New York Times reported that Asbille is of Taiwanese, British, and Eastern Band Cherokee descent. Though she didn't grow up in an indigenous community, Asbille told The New York Times she felt a strong connection to her Wind River character.

"This role, more than any other, it's in my blood," Asbille said in 2017.

Before landing the role of Monica, Kelsey booked more work on TV shows, including MTV's Teen Wolf, Embeds, and the sitcom Baby Daddy. Though she is primarily based in Los Angeles, Kelsey enjoys spending time in New York City, where she attended Columbia University.

Yellowstone's Monica Dutton

Kelsey Asbille as Monica Dutton in 'Yellowstone'

Paramount Network

But since 2018, Kelsey has made a name for herself in the Paramount Network series Yellowstone, starring opposite Kevin Costner, Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, and Cole Hauser. Though the odds always seem to be against Monica and Kayce, Kelsey told Wide Open Country that she is rooting for the couple to make it. 

"I really root for them," Asbille explained. "And it's very sweet actually how Taylor [Sheridan] roots for them. He does have this romantic side to him... amidst all the explosions...I mean, I think that they should definitely have it out a little bit, but I do. I do root for them in the end."

She adds that after previously working with Sheridan on Wind River, she was really excited to join the project and always felt a connection to the character of Monica.

" I had worked with [Taylor Sheridan] before and, you know, I love playing in his world. So that was the first thing. And then, honestly, probably the fact that she's a mother. I was also just really interested as well in the relationship with Kayce and Monica. When you have all the odds against you and you keep fighting."

Monica's big experience in season 5 will no doubt center around the pregnancy she announced in the previous season. What will this mean for the future of her relationship with Kayce? Taylor Sheridan undoubtedly has some juicy drama coming our way.

Read More: These 'Yellowstone' Actors Are Real Cowboys