Kelly Reilly attracts plenty of controversy on Yellowstone due to her portrayal of iron-willed Beth Dutton, but in a new interview, she reveals that one scene in particular really drew viewers' ire at the end of Season 4.

Beth Dutton took a young boy named Carter (Finn Little) under her wing in Season 4 of Yellowstone after he lost both of his parents, inviting him to live on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch under the care of her and her longtime love Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser). Their path proved to be a rocky one, but by the end of the season they had come to an understanding, and the three of them began to forge something of a familial bond.

There was one line Beth would not cross, however; when Carter addressed her as "mama," she corrected him harshly, telling him that his mother died and he can only get one, which left him in tears.

“America went after me for that!” Reilly tells TVLine with a laugh. “I was like, ‘That’s the character, not me!’ But I get it. I wish she would [let herself be a mother to him], too."

Reilly says it's true to the character, even if viewers didn't like it.

“But think about it,” she muses. “If she’s telling this kid that she’s just met, ‘Yeah, I’ll be your mom,’ that’s not truthful to him.”

The character of Beth Dutton is nothing if not brutally honest and direct, and Reilly says the exchange with Carter spoke to her core values.

“She goes, ‘You had a mom. She died. I can’t replace that. But I’ll be your friend,’” she states. “I think there’s something honorable about that.”

Season 5 of Yellowstone commenced shooting in Montana in mid-May, and it's set to premiere on Nov. 13.

Season 5 of Yellowstone will consist of 14 episodes that are set to air in two sections of 7 episodes apiece. Seasons 1-4 of the hit Paramount Network show are currently available to stream via Peacock.

As part of Taste of Country's comprehensive coverage of all things Yellowstone, check out our Dutton Rules podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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