Eden Brolin is a legacy actor, coming from a talented family. James Brolin is her grandfather, and Josh Brolin her father.
She brings her considerable talents to Yellowstone Season 3 as Mia, a barrel racer who set her sights on Jimmy and never let go.
For Eden, it stings a little bit that people imagined Mia had ulterior motives when it came to Jimmy, but as a fan of Yellowstone, she understands that urge, too.
So enjoy the conversation we had as fans of the series and from her special perspective now being one of the crew.
So tell me, how much did you know about Yellowstone when you got involved with the show?
Oh, man, I loved Yellowstone before I got to be on it. I had been watching it with my fiance, and we were a little obsessed with it. So getting to come on the show was exciting, to say the least. I'll never forget the first time I got to see the exterior of the Yellowstone barn and be like, "Oh my God, here I am." So it was really cool. It was very cool.
What did they tell you about your character when you accepted the role?
The most that they had told me was probably that I was a barrel racer, and I was Jimmy's love interest. I had gotten to read a very, very little bit of it, and it really wasn't much.
So there was a lot of collaborating and taking little guesses on who this person was, and what their dynamic together, me and Jimmy's dynamic together, was going to look like. It's been interesting to explore something that I didn't have very much context for, to begin with. So it's cool. It's exciting.
I assume, based upon your riding skills, that you have some background with horses. Did that help you prepare for the show, or did you come on without that background?
I'm flattered that you said that because I feel like my riding skills are not all that great. But I've gotten to ride a little bit throughout my life, but really inconsistently.
So it's been, coming onto this show has just been a whole new ball game as far as riding goes just because it's been a lot more concentrated.
There are more people teaching you at all times. There are more things to explore and learn. So it's been really nice just to be getting more of a crash course on the show than I think anytime in my life. I feel like most of my life has just consisted of like trail rides. So this is pretty neat.
Mia came on very strong with Jimmy. So strong that people in the audience of thought that she had ulterior motives. What's your assessment on Mia? What do you think that she sees in Jimmy that she took such a firm stand and didn't let go?
I think she saw him a few rodeos before we see them meet and had just had a fascination with him that I think she couldn't let go of. And it was one of those things where she was going to go after something, and she was just going to follow through with it. If it didn't work out, she was going to be willing to let go of it. But she'd be damned if she didn't at least try.
So I just think that that's her personality, and I understand people watching from the outside and going, "Ah, I don't know about this girl."
But I really think, as a barrel racer, as somebody that competes six months out of the year, to get something specific, to get a certain time to make sure that they're placing as she needs to, she's going to go after something and try her best to get it.
And I think when you see that from the outside, it just looks extreme. But I think for her it's just life.
The first time we really got to know Mia was whenever she came to visit Jimmy at the hospital, and you had some pretty racy scenes going on very early. What was that like?
I was questioning that scene at first, and going, "Why does she feel the need?" I felt like there needed to be some excuse for her to go for that so quickly. And I realized, I think she's just into him.
If that's what she's ready for, if that's what she wants to get, then that's what she's going to get. She's not forcing anybody to do anything, but she's got strong, strong will and strong motivation.
And I think that she really just follows through on those gut feelings. So, I think she really follows her gut feelings vigorously. When I realized that, it was a little bit liberating because I was like, "Okay, I get who this girl is."
She's just ready for an adventure and a good time, and she goes with her gut. And it made me happy to see that because it's not something that you get to see on TV a lot.
There's just nothing behind her wanting to be more sexually explorative. And it just made me happy to see that she was going for something and she was going to get it. And that's just who she is.
To have done that was probably the best-case scenario. Jefferson White, who plays Jimmy, is a gem of a person. He's just wonderful, and somebody that's willing to do everything that he can to make me feel as comfortable as I need to be to get the job done. As a girl on set, especially, you greatly appreciate when it's not just like, "Okay, we got to get this done."
There's somebody there that's really willing to speak up for you and be on your side in intimate moments like that.
Do you mean a lot like his character?
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
It looks like a bunkhouse, the whole set, is just a lot of fun. What is the reaction of the guys been to having women infiltrate their safe haven?
I think it's funny because it's like, they've got these big reactions going on with like, "Yeah, I told you this was going to happen, all these girls are coming in here, and they're going to..." It's like, relax, relax. You're going to be okay.
I think it's a funny way to explore how like truly fragile masculine energy can sometimes be with like their spaces and their status quo.
So I think I've enjoyed watching that play out with how the guys are reacting to having more girls around because I think it's necessary and I think it's funny to watch people adjust to.
And I think that that can also greatly reflect the way that the world is changing. It's necessary, to have women in more spaces. And it's pretty entertaining to watch people get worked up and uncomfortable about it. Cause it's happening!
[laughs] The girls are there, the girls are there to stay. So not much you can do about it.
We have to talk about that scene with you guys in the truck. Whenever Rip was trying to hold back his laughter because, well, Mia was getting on his every last nerve. That scene looked like it was so much fun to film.
Did you get a lot of outtakes from that? How long did it take you to get that right?
My one goal for that was to just get through the takes without losing those lines. It was a ton of dialogue, and I didn't know Cole very well at that point either. So to me, he was just a great actor, and when he was in costume, he was Rip.
So I was a little bit intimidated by that. So I really just wanted to get shit done. I just wanted to get it done so that I wouldn't upset anybody. So lucky for me, there weren't a lot of outtakes. We probably got it done in, I don't know, four, five takes maybe.
Because I was determined to get it over with and let everybody leave for the day without saying, "Man. Eden just couldn't get through that scene, could she?" So I worked to get those lines right.
Well, it turned out very well. I love your facial expressions and the way that you were leaning on your hands. Everything about that scene worked.
Oh, man. Thank you for saying that. That makes me so happy. Cause it was 100% terrifying to do.
You have a lovely pedigree of actors in your family. How did your father and grandfather prepare you for life and the business?
I think being available to talk openly about their experiences has been valuable. I don't think you always get that, where family's willing to really sit down with you and listen to your experience and share their own.
So I feel very, very lucky that I'm in a position where I can have intimate conversations about my own experiences, and them being open and willing enough to share their own experiences from decades of doing this.
So I think that's a really valuable thing to have on your side, somebody willing to sit down and listen and chat about it. Cause it's a weird business, man. Like it's a weird position to be in.
It's different, not to make it sound redundant, but it's very different and interesting to be the first woman in these generations of actors that's having a totally different experience of going about this. So I think that's fascinating too. And I think they enjoy hearing about it, being privy to that conversation as well.
And what has being a part of the Yellowstone cast taught you?
Oh, so much. I mean, Kelly Riley, who plays Beth, is not only an amazing actress, but she's an incredible human being.
And watching her carry the show has been fucking magical and getting to meet her was double that, because she is just so, you really understand the value of being somebody strong, that knows what she's doing, is absolutely professional, but then is also willing to have the warmth to people that she's just meeting, and people that are visiting set, or people that are just coming on as a day player to work.
She has the same level of warmth for everybody that's coming in. And that is so valuable to see and, oh, man, I want to be like that.
I want to be somebody that's willing to hold my arms open on a set and say, "Hello, nice to meet you; I'm so happy you're here." That's such a gift to learn. And as an example that is incredibly powerful to watch play out from afar.
And, I've learned so much about riding horses, just more than I ever thought I would learn about riding. It's been such an incredible experience with that because, about a year before I did Yellowstone, I had been wanting to put it out into my universe that I wanted to ride a little bit more and learn more about horses.
And then this show fell into my lap, and I was like, "Yes, perfect." This is it, I'm going to get to learn. So I've just really taken full advantage of getting to experience that a little bit more. And it's been awesome.
What's your reaction to what fans can expect in the final two episodes of season three?
Oh, a whole lot of... It's funny because every time I watch an episode of Yellowstone, I watch it with my fiance, and the credits come on, and we both go "No!" I feel like it's just going to be more of that but in the most extreme version of it. You just don't want to see the credits roll.
For real fans of Yellowstone, it's going to be some life-changing stuff. But I'm very excited to see how Mia and Jimmy's dynamics will play out as like stakes start to rise. And just see how that relationship will play out. As shit starts to hit the fan, for lack of a better word.
Yellowstone airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on Paramount Network. Be sure to return to TV Fanatic for more interviews and a full review after every episode.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.