Rockwall-Heath graduate stars in prequel to hit series Yellowstone

Western drama series Y: 1883 premieres Dec. 19th on Paramount+


ROCKWALL, TX – December 17, 2021 — Cozy up on the couch, grab some popcorn and tune in to Paramount+ on Sunday, Dec. 19th to see former Rockwall-Heath High School graduate Stephen Austin Long in the premiere of Y: 1883 – the prequel to the hit western drama series Yellowstone.

Currently in its fourth season, Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone follows the Dutton family – owners of the largest ranch in Montana – as they navigate conflicts with a Native reservation and land developers. Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton, a sixth-generation patriarch of the Dutton family who operates the Yellowstone/Dutton Ranch and finds himself constantly challenged by those who want to take control of his land.

Y: 1883 takes us back to when the Dutton family first appeared in Montana, with country music star couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill portraying John and Margaret Dutton. The series follows the Duttons as they undergo the rigorous journey through the Great Plains to Montana.

Rockwall native Stephen Austin Long stars in a featured role as a Russian emigrant who becomes a Russian pioneer along the way.

“My character, much like myself, is uncertain of the path ahead but fights for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this great country,” Stephen said. “My goal is to show my inner pioneer spirit and the importance of perseverance in life.”

Stephen grew up in Rockwall and after graduating Rockwall-Heath High School, lived and worked all over Texas as a landman in the oil and gas industry. In 2019 he moved to Manhattan, New York to pursue a newly found acting career. He attended the Acting Studio there until the COVID pandemic lockdown temporarily closed the studio, at which point he moved back closer to home in Texas.

“This was a difficult decision in my career because I was in shows off Broadway and was seemingly making big strides for the brief time I was there. However, being able to come home to the love of my life – Bryton Bonacquisti – and my family made it worth while,” Stephen said.

Stephen’s background in farming and ranching, along with the great love he has for his home state of Texas, helped open an opportunity to become a part of the western drama series. He said working alongside big names like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Sam Elliott has been a surreal experience.

“I’ve come to admire the dedication to their work and craft,” Stephen said. “That in mind, they’re very down to earth. I’ve been able to trade river rocks with Sam and play football with Tim in our downtime on set to name a few examples.”

Stephen said he hopes the show will help people grow an appreciation and admiration for what this country was built on.

“My guess is that this show will help people fall in love with what makes this country so great and bring back an admiration for the backbone of our country – farm and ranch,” Stephen said. “This feels like being a part of history and has been an opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve enjoyed every moment of filming on historic ranches like the 101 and Four Sixes and will miss being around the great cast and crew when the show wraps in the new year. I’m looking forward to what’s next and growing my roots further in the Texas film industry.”

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Courtesy photos.

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