Kelly Reilly is just as obsessed as her fans with playing a “tornado” in “Yellowstone.”

Here’s a tip for fans of the western drama Yellowstone: If you see Kelly Reilly at the airport or in a coffee shop, don’t worry about her confronting you. She doesn’t want to ruin your day.

Nor need you congratulate her on her vicious verbal prostration of business interests, aspiring developers, and others vying for her father’s massive Montana ranch so they can turn the scenic countryside into a concrete playground of vacation homes and resort attractions.

Because now that the Paramount Network series, a true blockbuster that has become arguably the most popular series on television, has kicked off its highly anticipated fifth season, Reilly is finding that her performance in “Yellowstone” is so compelling that many fans her belief is Beth Dutton, the ruthless daughter of Kevin Costner’s John.

Armed with a Vulcan personality and scathing diatribes for anyone who opposes her and her father, Beth has stepped past the show’s other colorful characters and become a unique force of nature: “You are the trailer park and I am the tornado” is just one of the trademarks that has appeared on t-shirts honoring Beth. But Reilly is not a Beth type at all.

“My life couldn’t be further from Beth’s world, but people really think I am her,” Reilly said during a Zoom interview from her home in London. “In a coffee shop, they say, ‘Hi, Beth.’ I’ve been acting since I was 17 and I’ve never had a character that had such strong flavor and evoked such passionate responses. It’s terrifying and exciting, depending on the day.”

The British actor, whose previous projects have included the films ‘Flight’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ starring Robert Downey Jr., credits executive producer Taylor Sheridan, who co-created and is the head writer of ‘Yellowstone,’ with Beth.

“Taylor writes women with great love but with great complexity,” Reilly said. “You don’t apologize. Men are never written as strong male characters. They’re just being themselves. It was that attitude and energy that Taylor wrote about in Beth and all her poisonous fabulousness. As an actor, it got my blood pumping. As a woman, it fascinated me. There’s a ruthlessness about her that I find exciting.”

She added: “It was a quality that didn’t come easily to me. How do you play such a woman and still get people on your side? If you just hate them or disregard them, I haven’t done my job right.”

The two most important men in Beth’s life besides her father are her husband Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) – Dutton’s main hand on the ranch, whom she loves dearly – and her brother Jamie (Wes Bentley), whom she openly despises. Beth has never forgiven Jamie for an incident when they were teenagers when he took her to an abortion and, unbeknownst to her, arranged for her to be spayed.

Beth constantly reminds Jamie of her life’s purpose of punishing and destroying him. Their toxic relationship was exposed in season one when they got into a violent fight in a barn.

Bentley said: “Beth is extreme and it’s been quite a long road for Kelly because she’s the opposite – sweet. She went further in this role than I thought she could have. That fight scene was fully formed the moment I saw that click. It’s one of the most fascinating things I’ve seen as an actor.”

Both performers believe that a twisted kind of love is at the core of the dynamic between Beth and Jamie.

During the interview, Reilly spoke about various aspects of “Yellowstone.”

When did you realize Beth had become such a breakout character?

By the middle of season two, I felt like there was more talk about her. People dressed up as her on Halloween. That’s when I began to realize that she had entered the zeitgeist. It was fascinating to watch and – I’ll be honest as an actor – slightly intimidating and a bit scary. I try to keep what people have to say about them at a distance. For some women she is a heroine. Others find them despicable. Neither side is right or wrong and that is their joy.

I’ve heard that when people recognize you, they want to high-five you or fight you.

They are even more disappointed when they meet me. They expect me to have Taylor Sheridan’s choice of words and Beth’s attitude. Once I stop playing them, I drop that attitude pretty quickly. Also, I’m British so it’s always a revelation to people. I actually think it’s better if they don’t know about me so I can fully inhabit and disappear and people can think she’s real. I like that in a weird way.

The chemistry of this cast is so front and center. Kevin really seems to be your father and Beth adores him so much.

When I first read the script, the strongest thing that stood out was her devotion to her father. She’s a warrior to him, and there’s something righteous about that. I find that very beautiful and tragic. It’s not difficult with Kevin — he really is this patriarchal All-American. He’s iconic at playing this character. I love my scenes with him.

There’s this torrid romance between Beth and Rip. There’s such a tension between you and Cole Hauser, who plays him.

I had just turned 40 when I got the role of Beth. I think Cole is three or four years older than me. We’ve both been working for many, many years and both were aware of how lucky we were and how rich the material was. Neither of us calls. We work really hard and we both have a great affection for each other as people. We are both happily married people and we find ourselves on a playing field of safety and respect. The writing of these two characters together is beautiful, and we’re not going to screw that up.

You grew up in another country. How familiar were you with the western genre before joining Yellowstone?

It’s certainly not in my DNA. I didn’t think about getting into a genre. I was just thinking about stepping into another character. Beth became my dominant responsibility and obsession. Now I live in Montana five months a year. We’re filming on a real ranch. I ride every day. I’m friends with cowboys and cowgirls and ranchers. I embarked on a journey to understand a culture and a way of life that I did not know before. That was a real gift for me. It’s really humbling and complex.