Yellowstone’s Kelly Reilly swaps horses for pigeons in this quirky family drama

Taking flight.

She’s best known for playing tough-as-nails businesswoman Beth Dutton on the hit drama series Yellowstone, but Kelly Reilly takes on a more sensitive role as Maddie, the mother of a teenage girl in the coming-of-age film Little Wing.

The film follows high-schooler Kaitlyn (Brooklynn Prince), who’s struggling to process her parents’ divorce and the fact that her mother is gearing up to sell the family’s home, since she can’t pay the $100,000 mortgage alone.

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(Image: Suppled)

Enterprising Kaitlyn soon learns that a man called Jaan Vari (Brian Cox) owns a racing pigeon worth $120,000 and happens to live nearby. Kaitlyn decides to steal the pigeon so she can sell it to save her home.

Kelly, 46, says she was won over as soon as she read the script for the film.

 “I was very moved by it,” she tells TV WEEK. “The dilemma and situation this little family finds themselves in – that struggle is real.”

Succession star Brian is perfect as gruff pigeon breeder Jaan, who tracks down Kaitlyn, but ultimately opts to help her get the bird back instead of turning her in. Kelly says she particularly loved the unexpected truce being the centrepiece of the film’s story.

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(Image: Suppled)

“This friendship lends itself to the family coming together and connecting in a way that feels hopeful,” Kelly says. “It’s unexpected – the unexpected kindness of strangers. I was really moved by that.”

Kelly shot the film over only two weeks, but gained a lot from her young co-star Brooklynn in that short time.

“It was a real gift for me to work with Brooklynn and learn from her,” Kelly recalls. “You really want the relationship between you and this actress who’s playing your daughter to feel truthful, but you don’t want to force it. I was nervous the chemistry wouldn’t be there, but I didn’t need to worry, because we had it. She has a lot of very generous energy, so it was really easy to love her!”

Working with the legendary Brian was also a bonus.

“Brian is up there with one of the greats,” Kelly enthuses. “Obviously, his work in Succession is amazing, but I’ve been his fan forever. I got to work with him for one day, and it wasn’t enough. He’s so playful, so alive. I wish I had 50 days with him. I wish I could go to work with him every day.”

Stream Ling Wing on Paramount Plus from $9.99/mth, with a 7-day free trial.

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