(Monica Schipper; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

'Yellowstone' Star Piper Perabo's Advice for Franchise Newbie Matthew McConaughey

Piper Perabo isn't ready for Yellowstone to end. The Coyote Ugly alum, who's played environmental activist Summer Higgins on TV's most-watched series since 2021, opened up about what fans can expect from the final season, and what's to come for the franchise as a whole. She even had some words of advice for sequel spinoff star Matthew McConaughey: "You better come in with some experience."

In early May, Paramount announced that Yellowstone would end after completing its fifth season, which is due to air this November but hasn't yet begun filming. The plan was to premiere a new spinoff series immediately afterwards, in December. But the ongoing writers' strike could delay both Yellowstone's last voyage and its second act, says Perabo.

"I hope [the writers' strike] doesn't have an impact," the actress told ET in a May 30 interview. "I stand with the writers in solidarity and I'm really glad that they are fighting for fair wages and transparency and I hope that we can end this strike soon. I know [creator] Taylor Sheridan was writing before the strike was happening and one of the fun things about working on a Sheridan show is that you really don't know what's gonna happen. I have no idea what's happening next and the whole thing left off on this cliffhanger, so I'm waiting myself."

Piper Perabo as Summer Higgins in Yellowstone Season 5. (Paramount Network)

Perabo added that she wasn't a fan of the decision to end the series, but that she's hopeful the magic of Yellowstone will live on through Sheridan's upcoming prequels and sequels.

"If it were up to me, I would want it to keep going, but I know that Taylor is writing the prequels and he has all these things that he's doing and he wants to expand the whole thing, so even though Yellowstone might be ending, there may be so many more things to come."

With Kevin Costner's exit from the show confirmed, Matthew McConaughey, who's attached to star in the still-untitled spinoff series, was billed as the second coming of the tough-as-nails series lead. While she admits the Oscar winner "could be good in the Yellowstone world," Perabo had a little in-world wisdom for McConaughey: there are some things even Cowboy Camp can't teach you when entering the Dutton-verse.

"[McConaughey] lives in Texas, he understands the cowboy lifestyle," she told the outlet. "This is what I gotta say, he better be a good rider because Taylor Sheridan is a great cowboy. But if you don't know how to ride, I don't know if cowboy schools [are] gonna get you up to Yellowstone level. You better come in with some experience."

As for Summer Higgins' fate, well, Perabo just hopes her activist-on-house-arrest doesn't have to spend the remainder of Season 5 holed up in the mountains.

"I don't  know if we start the next [episode] and they're coming back from Texas. I don't know if we're all gonna go to Texas. I also don't want to imagine a life for Summer in the winter in Montana. She's on house arrest so I hope John comes home or gets her sentence commuted to Texas."

Take it from the actress who plays Kevin Costner's onscreen love interest: McConaughey has some big shoes to fill. Perabo recalled her intense reaction upon reading that she and Costner would have a kissing scene in Season 5.

"I went bananas over it when I saw it on the page. I had to go up to Kevin and be like, 'Um...,' and I just had to say, 'Let's just be respectful, I have to do this scene,'" she said of John and Summer's tryst at the county fair. "It's a little weird 'cause Kevin Costner is a big movie star! I was happy with the fan reaction. I mean, I love our show so much and I like how wild it is. I like how people get so excited and can't believe what's happening next. That's the kind of show I like to watch. The next day you go to work and you say, 'Oh my gosh, can you believe it?'"

Yellowstone Season 5, Part 2 is slated to premiere later this year.

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