As a high school student in Baskin, Louisiana (population 211), Lainey Wilson’s first paid showbiz gig involved performing as TV’s Hannah Montana on a flatbed trailer stage.
The country music singer-songwriter, 30, recalls the surreal feeling, years later she performed her song ‘Watermelon Moonshine’ for a scene in Paramount’s ‘Yellowstone’ – on a flatbed trailer in Montana.
“I’m on this stage flat out singing one more time, but not in my Hannah Montana wig. And I thought, fuck, this is a looping moment for me,” Wilson said. “And I sing ‘Watermelon Moonshine’, a song about young, wild, crazy love.”
Love only gets wilder and crazier for Wilson, who made her acting debut as free-spirited musician Abby in the Season 5 premiere of “Yellowstone” last month.
Sunday’s episode of the TV show #1 featured the “Moonshine” performance, before Abby left the flat stage to spark a heated romance with Ryan (Ian Bohen), who works for Kevin Costner’s John Dutton. , now Governor of Montana.
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What Wilson lacked in experience for her first on-screen kiss, she made up for with the same the determination and enthusiasm that sparked the country music star in 2022. The stage is smoking.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing, but you go head first. I was going to give people their money’s worth,” Wilson says. “I said to my mom and dad, ‘You might not want to watch this show. I don’t want to be on their prayer list.”
Wilson sends praise to “Yellowstone” creator and executive producer Taylor Sheridan, a longtime supporter who placed her song “Working Overtime” in the Season 2 premiere before the newcomer even had a contract. ‘registration.
His music was often featured on the Paramount series before Sheridan took it up a notch. He told Wilson in February that he wanted to create the character of Abby specifically for the bell-loving performer.
“(Sheridan) said he wanted me to be pretty much myself, which is a dream come true, especially when you’re trying to introduce yourself to people,” Wilson said. “All I got from him then was that I would play a musician who fell in love with one of the boys. He didn’t even tell me which one.”
A devastating family health saga nearly derailed his dream job: Wilson nearly canceled when his father, Brian, was placed in the intensive care unit with a fungal infection. From his hospital bed, his father insisted that Wilson get to work.
“He said, ‘I don’t care if it’s my funeral. If you have a job to do, you better go. And don’t come back until it’s over,'” Wilson said. “I packed my bags. It gave me the strength to do it. But I won’t lie, I’ll shoot my scene, go around the corner and cry a little bit.”
Wilson’s first “Yellowstone” scene was opposite the pugnacious Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly), which only added to the pressure. But Reilly, a fan of Wilson’s music, was supportive.
“I said (to Reilly) when I met her, ‘I thought you were going to take my head,'” Wilson said. “But we got on really well. She even gave me handmade bath salts.”
During this friendly scene, Abby swore never to date a cowboy. But there have been sparks and a dance filled with smiles between Abby and dorm luminary Ryan in recent episodes, anyway, flirtations that turned into all-out flames on Sunday.
Wilson won’t say how long the love will last, but admits she had to learn to kiss despite the obstacle of wide-brimmed cowboy hats. “It’s definitely about leaning your head to one side; angles are so important,” says Wilson. “And there’s another kiss that happens where I take my hat off. That’s when you know you’re into it.”
The country star is keeping busy with her soaring music career. Four days before the “Yellowstone” season premiere, Wilson brought her then-recovered father as a date to the Nov. 9 CMA Awards, where she took home trophies for Best New Artist and Singer.
“Yellowstone” is a near-weekly showcase for her new album, “Bell Bottom Country,” released Oct. 28. Wilson announced a 27-city tour, starting Jan. 4.
“The crazy thing is, we’re just getting started. We’re working hard just to work harder. Now is the time to roll up our sleeves,” Wilson says. “I’m trying all these new things, even ‘Yellowstone,’ my first acting gig. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”