Luke Grimes may have been born and raised in Ohio, but he now calls Montana home.
It didn’t take long for Grimes, who plays Kayce Dutton, the son of patriarch John Dutton, in the hit Paramount series “Yellowstone,” to fall in love with the West.
“I’ve always felt a sort of calling from the mountains,” he said. And his wife Bianca felt the same. “When we got married, we didn’t want to live in L.A.,” he said. “My wife is from Brazil and I’m from Ohio so we didn’t really have any ties to L.A. and wanted to raise a family somewhere else.”
They were married in 2018, the year “Yellowstone” debuted, and when she joined him on set at the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana, where the series is filmed, it changed their lives.
“We moved to Austin, Texas, first, but that was in 2020 during the pandemic, so it was kind of a strange time to move to a new city. And then she came with me to work in Montana. She was there the whole four months and just fell in love with it.”
Grimes said he’s always been drawn to the outdoors, so it wasn’t much of a stretch for him to move there — or to sign on as the new face of Stetson fragrance.
Grimes, who follows Tom Brady and Matthew McConaughey in that role, said Stetson played a big part in his life growing up.
“I grew up lower-middle-class and we went to Walmart, and Stetson cologne is something I grew up with — my dad wore it. It’s such an American staple — and not just the fragrance, but the hats and the clothes, it’s a name you hear growing up if you’re from rural America. So when this opportunity came along I just thought it was such a good fit. It’s a good brand to get in a partnership with and actually feel good about — something that wouldn’t feel too foreign to me, because I’d grown up around it.”
The fragrance, which is created in partnership with Scent Beauty, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and Grimes will serve as the spokesperson for both its grooming and fragrance products. The campaign was shot at the Diamond Cross Ranch outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming, by director and photographer Blair Getz Mezibov, and highlights Grimes in his element against spectacular Grand Tetons backdrop.
“Since its founding in 1865, the Stetson brand has stood for the best of the American spirit — honest, authentic, and independent — and we can think of no one better to embody those values than Luke Grimes,” said Xiao Li Tan, president of Stetson. “He exudes strength and integrity on camera and off, and his passion for the West and longtime love of Stetson make him the embodiment of the modern Stetson man. As a kid from Ohio who grew up to become a new Western icon, Luke represents the power of achieving your dreams on your own terms, and we’re thrilled to have him as part of the Stetson family.”
Grimes said he was “really drawn to the tagline of the campaign — ‘Be Your Own Legend.’ It’s about living authentically, being true to who you really are.”
He described himself as “a boots, jeans, T-shirts kind of person, I always have been, it’s comfortable. I can do anything in it. I like to be outdoors a lot. So wearing Air Jordans, or something like that probably wouldn’t serve me very well.”
But he also likes to glam it up on occasion when he hits a red carpet or a high-profile event. “I don’t have to do it enough that it’s a chore. It’s a couple times a year for me, so it’s kind of fun. My wife really likes to do it too.”
But during his break from “Yellowstone,” what he has been spending more time on is his music. Grimes was a drummer in a band earlier in his life but now, he’s prepping to launch a solo singing career.
“I was a drummer for a very long time at a very young age. But this will be my first foray into standing up on a stage in front of a microphone. So we’ll see how that goes,” he said with a laugh.
After “Yellowstone” season five finished filming a few weeks ago, he made his way to Nashville, Tennessee, where he’s writing music he hopes to release before the end of the year or early next year.
“I’ll start recording a little later this month and who knows how long that process will take,” he said.
Grimes said his music isn’t traditional country but has its own distinct sound. “I try not to label it too much or put too much of a goalpost up. But it’s going to have that rural, rootsy Americana sound because that’s a big part of the music I’ve always listened to and is certainly part of the music that tends to come out of me.”
Once he finishes that project, he’ll head back out West to enjoy the winter in Montana as viewers settle in to check out the latest drama among the Dutton clan.
Grimes wouldn’t tip his hand too much about what viewers can expect when the fifth season kicks off on Nov. 13. “In true ‘Yellowstone’ fashion, it’ll be different from every other season,” he said. “Each season has its own identity — and none of it is what you saw coming.”
Stetson’s national campaign will air on traditional and digital channels as well as in print starting Tuesday. And the fall collection will showcase new packaging designed to appeal to a younger customer.
“We are excited to welcome Luke Grimes to Stetson,” said Steve Mormoris, chief executive officer of Scent Beauty. “He embodies a new, sensitive masculinity very relevant in America today. His love of the outdoors, and connection to the American West, as well as his superb acting and musical talents, make him a perfect spokesperson for Stetson.”