‘Yellowstone’ Actor James Jordan Is Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Where’s Waldo?’
Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan hardly releases a new film or television project without including actor James Jordan. He's his "Where's Waldo?" in that it's fun to try to spot him in each new series.
On Yellowstone, Jordan plays Livestock Agent Steve Hendon, a loyal and well-meaning (if sometimes overly aggressive) friend of the Duttons. IMDB lists the actor as appearing in 11 episodes across the first four seasons. His most notable plot line was during Season 3, when in Ep. 2 ("Freight Trains and Monsters") he accidentally kills two men who're accused of beating a barrel racer. This is during Jamie Dutton's short tenure as livestock commissioner. He gets Hendon out of trouble and hides the bodies.
In 1883, Jordan appears wearing an almost comical beard as "Cookie," a hired cook attached to the Dutton family's journey to Oregon. We won't spoil it here, but once again his character makes a poor decision that leads to devastation and tragedy. The quick-tempered Hendon could have been kin to "Cookie," if not for — well, we said we wouldn't spoil the Paramount+ show.
At the same time he was playing Cookie and Hendon, Jordan was also playing a prison guard named Ed on Sheridan's Mayor of Kingstown. His provocations eventually lead to deadly turmoil on that show, as well, and Ed ends up — (sigh) well, we won't spoil it. You're probably seeing a theme here, which — after a quick note about Jordan appearing in Sheridan's movie Wind River, as well — leads us to the next role for Texan.
Variety reports that Jordan and Yellowstone fan-favorite Dave Annable (the brother who dies in Season 1, Ep. 1) will have parts in an upcoming CIA drama called Lioness on Paramount+. LaMonica Garrett (Thomas on 1883) is also signed up for a show led by Zoe Saldaña and Laysla De Olivera. The three actors' roles are not clear, but the smart money is on Jordan doing something that will leave viewers face-palming.
Lioness is a different kind of show for Sheridan. Per Variety, it's based on a real-life program in the CIA. Here's a more official description:
Lioness "follows Cruz Manuelos (De Oliveira), a rough-around-the-edges but passionate young Marine recruited to join the CIA’s Lioness Engagement Team to help bring down a terrorist organization from within. Saldaña plays Joe, the station chief of the Lioness program tasked with training, managing and leading her female undercover operatives.”
There are Taylor Sheridan shows without Jordan in them, but you have to add "yet" to that claim, since none have started airin. 1923 (a Yellowstone prequel starring Harrison Ford, set for December), 6666 (a Yellowstone spinoff TBD), Tulsa King (Nov. 13), 1883: The Bass Reeves Story (a Yellowstone prequel, spinoff TBD) and Landman (begins filming next year) are all in the works.
Jordan isn't tied to any of them — yet — but don't be surprised if he comes rolling up with a handlebar mustache, a quick lip and questionable decision-making.