‘Yellowstone’ Newbie Neal McDonough Previews His Ruthless Mogul Malcolm Beck

Paramount Network

The bickering billionaire Duttons, led by the ranch family’s patriarch, John (Kevin Costner), are facing an unexpected new threat in Yellowstone Season 2. You’ll spot it as soon as Malcolm Beck (Neal McDonough), a ruthless casino mogul who’s partial to $5,000 Stetsons, swaggers into the July 10 episode.

“Malcolm is a gangster in cowboy clothing,” says McDonough. “He lives by black-and-white rules. If those get broken, he takes care of it his way. He fears nothing.”

The icy-eyed, in-demand actor (he’s also working on Suits, Project Blue Book, Altered Carbon, and Van Helsing) deals us in.

How dangerous is Beck?

Neal McDonough: It’s high stakes with him and his brother [Teal, played by Terry Serpico], who own hundreds of Montana gas station–casinos. Malcolm proposes a partnership with John Dutton, whom he respects. When he gets turned down, it’s like, if you don’t share my agenda, I will cut you out.

(Paramount Network)

Had you worked before with Kevin Costner?

We did a film, [2006’s] The Guardian, in Louisiana. On breaks we’d sweat our faces off hitting baseballs. To say that Kevin is one of my favorite guys I’ve ever worked with would be downplaying it. He doesn’t just know his lines — he knows your lines.

Does the “New West” wardrobe help you get into character?

Putting on a cowboy hat, you walk a little differently. Malcolm shows his wealth with a $10,000 belt buckle, expensive boots. I chose to do his bolo tie [only] halfway up to say, “I’m my own guy. If you don’t like it, let’s step outside.”

What does Malcolm think of John’s children, prodigal Kayce (Luke Grimes), lawyer Jamie (Wes Bentley), and wheeler-dealer Beth (Kelly Reilly)?

They’re spoiled, whiny rich kids who have no idea how to run a business. He and Beth go nose-to-nose and neither backs down. How that moves forward is pretty horrific, dramatic, and amazing. By the end of the season, Malcolm’s chips are all in. It’s chilling to watch a guy so focused.

Yellowstone, Wednesdays, 10/9c, Paramount Network