For many people, Yellowstone and Taylor Sheridan have become household names in recent years. Many might be wondering, where did he come from? How does someone from Hollywood capture the American West so accurately and with so much reverence? Short answer? He doesn’t come from Hollywood.
It is time to answer the burning question of who is he and where did he come from? Sheridan hails from Cranfills Gap, Texas, just outside of Waco. He grew up on the FEA cattle ranch. Growing up on a ranch of any sort is tough, but it also makes you tough which is evident by Sheridan’s resilience and grit he brings to Hollywood.
Sheridan found himself on the path Hollywood after his parents’ divorce brought the sale of the FEA cattle ranch. He didn’t take the sale of the ranch lying down. “Sheridan took a bus to Cranfills Gap and then walked the last three miles. He sat himself at FEA’s front gate with a shotgun. For four months, he scared off Realtors and prospective buyers” according to an interview he did with Esquire Magazine in 2018.
His start in acting was not the “big break” we all imagine actors and directors get easily. Just like everything else in his life, Sheridan put his nose to the grindstone and got to work. He was scouted as model initially but was able to audition for a commercial in Chicago which he got the part. From there he found himself acting in New York, which for someone from the American West, is a large change in culture! Being miserable in New York, sent him West to Los Angeles. But his big break was still may years away. He was completely homeless, living in the hills of L.A. during this time. Sheridan has never felt at home in either New York or Los Angeles. From his interview with Esquire Magazine he explains why he continues to be drawn back to the American West “I’ve felt real lonely in Los Angeles and New York…but never out here, never where there’s space.”
Over the years he got some acting roles in various big-name movies and television shows such as Sons of Anarchy. According to Esquire Magazine “in early 2011, he swore to Nicole that he could write them out of their misery. She dipped into their meager savings and bought him the screenwriting program Final Draft.” And the rest is truly history. Sheridan has given us his all with his writing and directing, but true to cowboy code, he isn’t done yet.
Sheridan is a mastermind, and his screenwriting and directing has shown that. We all know and love him for his creation, Yellowstone. But he has given us hope that the western way of life is not lost in history, it is alive and well if we just open our eyes. a
For more information, or to read the entire Esquire article on Sheridan:
Pictures courtesy of Esquire, Cowboys & Indians and Nic Sheridans Instagram