Taylor Sheridan may be getting the last laugh as Yellowstone and its prequel 1883 are fvcking crushing it on Paramount+ but that does not mean that he has forgotten how he was treated on his way out on Sons of Anarchy.
Sure, he was only on the first three seasons of Sons, but he didn’t leave on good terms. The way he was shown the door left such a poor taste in his mouth that it led him to focus on writing — which ultimately, worked out pretty well.
In an interview with Deadline, Sheridan said that he thought he was being offered a “very unfair wage” and that he was making “less than virtually every other person on the show” and that negotiations were setting him up to make less than kids on Cartoon Network.
It was a very specific gripe to include Cartoon Network, but whatever.
“The guy goes, ‘I know and you’re right that he probably deserves to make more, but we’re not going to pay him more because guess what, he’s not worth more,'” Sheridan said. “‘That’s what he’s worth. There’s 50 of him. He is 11 on the call sheet. That’s what that guy is, and that’s all he’s ever going to be.’ And that’s really when I quit.
“I decided right there that I didn’t want to be 11 on the call sheet for the rest of my life,” Sheridan added. “Now, I am happily 11 on the call sheet on Yellowstone, but I don’t think anybody wants to watch me do anything on television for an hour because the business told me they don’t. They told me I’m supposed to story tell behind the camera. And so, the only reason I am in front of the camera playing [the horse trainer] Travis is because I grew up on a ranch, riding horses. There’s just not another actor out there who can do those things on a horse.”
While playing Hale, Sheridan was a regular on SoA’s first two seasons, and then (now we know why) he was killed off in the Season 3 premiere.
The distaste for negotiations did not slow him down.
He would go on to sell his script for Sicario — which was directed by Denis Villeneuve and was a surprise box winner in 2015 that helped propel his career.
This is not the first time that he brought up money, but it is making more headlines now with the success of his new shows.
“Everyone on the show was making twice what I’m making, the other series regulars,” he explained in a 2018 with Deadline. “We’re not talking about the stars. And I’m on the DVD [cover] bro; only two people on it. I say, ‘Why is this all you’re offering me? It seems unfair.’ I’m told, ‘That’s all you’re worth and all you’ll ever be worth.’ I took that in. And I said, ‘OK. I guess I’ll tell my own stories.'”
As it played out, Sons closed on a solid note and spurred Mayans MC and the breakout hits of Yellowstone and 1883 may not happened had he been offered more money.