FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 13: Piper Perabo attends the black carpet during "Yellowstone" Season 5 Fort Worth Premiere at Hotel Drover on November 13, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Who Plays Summer Higgins in 'Yellowstone'? Piper Perabo Brings Her Passion for Acting to the Fiery Environmentalist

Piper Perabo plays Summer Higgins on the Paramount Network's popular Western series Yellowstone. A romantic interest of John Dutton (Kevin Costner) introduced in season 4, Higgins is also a staunch environmentalist who cares deeply for animals and causes that affect the Earth. Now that Yellowstone season 5 is in full force, it looks as if we'll be seeing more of the "love story," as Perabo has called it, blossoming between the two characters.

Perabo brings considerable acting chops and years of experience to her role as Higgins. The character may have only starred in Yellowstone for a short time, but there's a lot more for us to discover about her as well as her burgeoning relationship with John Dutton. We'll be seeing more of her this season as she takes on the role of a regular. And with more Summer on the table, fans are likely eager to learn more about Perabo, her journey to acting in Yellowstone, and her place on the ranch by John's side — or not! We'll have to wait and see.

Who is Piper Perabo?

New York City World premiere screening of 'Keeping The Faith' at the Ziegfeld Theatre. Directed by Ed Norton. Actress Piper Perabo Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

Piper Lisa Perabo is an American actress who's best known for a variety of roles, notably Violet "Jersey" Sanford in the 2000 film Coyote Ugly, which also marked her breakout role in Hollywood. The talented actress has appeared in several multifaceted roles, from films such as Looper and The Prestige to TV series including Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

She didn't have to spend a long time looking for a way to make it big in Hollywood. Just a couple of years after graduating from the Trinity/La MaMa Performing Arts Program in 1996 and earning a bachelor's degree in theater from Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University in 1998, the Dallas, Texas, native scored her first major role in Coyote Ugly as Jersey.

She beat out pop stars Jessica Simpson and Jewel for the role and starred alongside heavy hitters including John Goodman and Tyra Banks. Though she already appeared in films such as the 1999 comedy Whiteboyz and 2000's The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, it was Coyote Ugly that catapulted her into stardom.

After that, she moved on to additional movie roles including 2003's Cheaper by the Dozen, 2005's The Cave, and 2006's The Prestige. She also began appearing in various TV shows in addition to her film projects in 2007, when she guest-starred on House.

Here's where you've seen Piper Perabo before

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Piper Perabo attends Chanel Hosts The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Artist's Dinner at Balthazar, NYC on April 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Beyond her breakout role in Coyote Ugly, Perabo has appeared in several TV series and movies. After breaking into Hollywood and then making her television debut in House in 2007, she went on to act in films including The Lazarus Project and 2012's action hit Looper. She had a brief run as Simone on the TV series Go On, but her biggest break on the small screen came next.

One of her most well-known roles would be her stint on Covert Affairs beginning in 2010, where she portrayed the main protagonist and CIA agent Annie Walker, recruited into the agency after being "burned by love." The series ran until the end of 2014, and she undoubtedly earned her fair share of fans while leading the show.

Just a year afterward, Perabo scored another lead TV role on the ABC thriller Notorious. As media mogul Julia George, Perabo embodied a headstrong cable news show producer with a set of high-profile secrets to keep.

Working with high-profile stars

WESTWOOD, CA - AUGUST 20: Piper Perabo arrives at the LA Premiere Of Lionsgate's "Angel Has Fallen" at Regency Village Theatre on August 20, 2019 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic,)

Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

After making a splash in the TV world with lead roles in Covert Affairs and Notorious, Perabo appeared in several other shows as well, such as 2019's Turn Up Charlie. But she walked into a high-profile role in the 2019 film Angel Has Fallen as Leah Banning, which led her to work alongside actors including frontman Gerard Butler, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Nick Nolte and Morgan Freeman.

Angel Has Fallen was the third installment in the three-film Has Fallen series, following 2013's Olympus Has Fallen and 2016's London Has Fallen. It follows U.S. Secret Service agent Mike Banning as he works to clear his name after being framed for a drone attack on the president of the United States, Allan Trumbull.

In this action thriller, Perabo appeared opposite Butler's character Mike Banning as his wife, Leah (replacing Radha Mitchell, who had portrayed the character in previous films but could not this time due to scheduling conflicts). It was one of her most star-studded roles thus far, and one that's undoubtedly contributed to her swath of popularity today.

Yellowstone and other notable roles

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 27: Piper Perabo attends the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Barker Hangar on February 27, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Following her major role in Angel Has Fallen, Perabo snagged a role as Linda Craft in the horror anthology series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels in 2020, spanning six episodes. She then went on to appear in the 2020 film Spontaneous as Angela, and then as Paula Clark in the Fox series The Big Leap, which she starred in for 11 episodes.

But it wouldn't be until 2021 that she scored one of her most well-known and recognizable roles to date: Summer Higgins on Yellowstone. She's only appeared in six episodes so far; but with season 5 in full swing, she's set to make a splash that viewers won't soon forget. In fact, they're still talking about her actions in season 4.

Higgins is an environmental activist who protests industrialized farming in Montana. She first showed up in the season 4 episode "Under a Blanket of Red," and she has been seen with the environmentalist group Free Earth working to force those who butcher animals and pollute the planet to change their ways.

Initially, Higgins butted heads with Yellowstone ranch owner John Dutton, thanks to her fiery personality. But after she ends up arrested during a protest, she finds Dutton has bailed her out. He wants her to take a look at the ranch, and get to know her better. While Higgins isn't too interested at first, she relents, and sparks fly between the pair. It leads to something of a fling between them, which John's daughter, Beth Dutton, (Kelly Reilly) isn't too fond of. But it looks like this season will reveal even more to come.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Perabo noted that the John-and-Summer storyline will get even hotter. The show is "turning up the heat," and we can expect some spicy developments with Perabo's character and her relationship with John.

"The love story is kicking into gear on Yellowstone," she said. "I know a lot of people watch it for the cowboys and the ranch, but I watch it for the love story. We're turning up the heat. It's been a hard couple of years, let's turn up the heat for a minute."

You'll be able to see more of Perabo as Summer as Yellowstone season 5 progresses. We can't wait to see what she gets up to at the ranch.

READ MORE: 'Yellowstone': Jacki Weaver Plays the Duttons' 'Terrifying' Enemy, Caroline Warner