To play a ‘tornado’ in ‘Yellowstone,’ Kelly Reilly became as obsessive as her fans.
For many years, she had lived in what she and her friends dubbed “Heroes’ Landing” — a small hill on the southern tip of the Wyoming Valley and the site of a cabin in which she had lived with her two older brothers after they fled from the town of Yellowstone in 1886. She had run away from a man in her past, and in the summer of 1890, she decided what she wanted to do was go to Yellowstone, one of the nation’s natural wonders.
There, she thought, she and her brothers could see the animals that her father had told her about — the giant bison who roamed on the plains, the mountain lion that lived near Denali, and the bears that roamed along the shores of the Tongue River. She hoped that she could see them and film them.
To the untrained eye, Yellowstone is a very large park. It is one of America’s most famous national parks, and it ranks as the country’s most-walked national park — in part because of its sheer size. But to the trained eye, the park is very small, a little like the tip of a pen — dotted with roads and parking lots and scattered with buildings. To a woman, it is a kind of paradise. To a man, it is terrifying.
The smallness of Yellowstone had its advantages. It would hide her from what she assumed would be danger. It would shield her from the glare of what she assumed would be cameras. It would shield her from the crowds and attention that would surely come her way.
But all of that was about to turn out to be what Kelly Reilly intended it to be: Her idealized version of Yellowstone as she imagined it to be, as a place of exotic beauty, of beauty as a natural wonder, a place to be seen and admired.
Her life in the