Beloved Yellowstone Star Was Ready To Call It Quits

By Jonathan Klotz | Published


One of the breakout fan-favorite performers on the number one show in the country, Yellowstone, Native American actor Mo Brings Plenty was already starting to leave acting behind when the role was offered. An interview from the New York Times explains the journey the actor has had, from reservations to the Hollywood set. Mo now plays Mo, righthand man for Thomas Rainwater, and as of the latest season the actor has ascended from recurring to becoming a series regular.

Mo Brings Plenty was raised on multiple reservations in the Midwest, to the point that the actor simply refers to his upbringing as being a child of the Lakota Nation, instead of a single reservation. Originally, the actor decided to get into the business to correct the lack of Native American representation he saw on screen. Now on the set of Yellowstone, Brings Plenty acts as an advisor for showrunner Taylor Sheridan, making sure that the depiction of Native characters is as accurate as possible.

In addition, Mo Brings Plenty helps wrangle horses on the set of Yellowstone. His personal horse, Zorro, is used on-screen by his character Mo. The Native American star knows his way around horses as he owns a ranch in Kansas and worked as a stunt rider for television and movies.

After working in theater, Mo Brings Plenty had supporting roles in Hell on Wheels, American Mythos, and The American West. Brings Plenty’s stunt work can be seen in the Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Revenant, but it was Yellowstone that brought the ability for the actor to bring all of his passions and talents together into one complete package. Frustrated with Native representation, even after working in the industry, the star wanted to quit before being offered the role of Rainwater’s driver and righthand man.

Mo Brings Plenty in Yellowstone

While sharing scenes with legendary actors like series lead Kevin Costner can be intimidating, Mo Brings Plenty was able to quietly get across his character in such a way that he is now a fan favorite. Yellowstone is the most popular ensemble on television today, making the feat all the more impressive. In addition to being involved in some of the more unsavory actions around the Dutton ranch, Mo is also frequently on screen when the script calls for a Native American ritual, such as this past Sunday’s episode.

Today, thanks to the hard work of actors like Mo Brings Plenty, Yellowstone’s nuanced native portrayal is just one of many such series currently airing. Reservation Dogs on FX is a comedy about four teenagers growing up on an Oklahoma reservation. Another Taylor Sheridan project, the film Wind River, was about the plight of murdered and missing indigenous women.

When out and about in public, Mo Brings Plenty is frequently recognized by fans, thanks to his long, braided hair which is not just a character trait for his on-screen performance. The actor credits Yellowstone, and the work of Sheridan, for his new found cultural standing, saying about the show creator “Sheridan said ‘Come on, let’s go. That’s enough of you guys being back there.”

“Let’s bring you up to the forefront.”

Now a series regular and at the front of the cast, Mo Brings Plenty is able to finally make the representation he long wanted a reality, on the biggest show in America.