From Kevin Costner to Cole Hauser, Yellowstone has brought widely familiar faces to the small screen. In spite of its star-studded cast, capable of leaving anyone starstruck at first glance, the series has never shied away from introducing budding actors and actresses to the entertainment world, as is the case for Brecken Merrill.

The 14-year-old was first immersed in the series at the tender age of eight when he landed the role of Tate Dutton. Acting opposite Costner’s patriarch John, the young actor had quite the burden on his shoulders. Nonetheless, he has never once let his dream waver, even in the darkest and coldest times on set, and it is all thanks to his co-star.

While shooting the river scenes in the first season, Merrill recalled some of his struggles while at the frigid location in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. Regardless of his surroundings, Merril retells the story of how Costner’s one-question wonder completely changed the course for this young actor.

“Kevin says, ‘Do you really, like, wanna do this? Is this what you really wanna do?’ I thought about it for the next month, and he kind of guided me to that area of, yeah, this is what I wanna do. This is my career. This is my passion. It’s super cold. It’s zero degrees, but I’m loving it. I wanna be here. I just wanna thank Kevin. I’m so blessed to work with such an amazing cast.”

At the time, Merrill had 20 hand warmers in his pocket to no avail. The temperature drop was so low, that the futile attempt for warmth was nothing but a faint hope. In spite of all of his harsh memories while on set, the Yellowstone actor looks at every moment fondly, while working alongside Costner in what would become one of the most popular shows on television. After all, who wouldn’t take a piece of advice from an Academy Award winner?

Yellowstone is available to stream on Paramount Plus.

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