Yellowstone: The Willa Hayes Character Explained (& Where You’ve Seen The Actor)

Willa Hayes (Karen Pittman) is a recurring character in Yellowstone and eagle-eyed viewers may remember the actor from some of her other performances. Yellowstone and its many spinoffs may center on the generations of the Dutton family and their friends, but the guest stars and recurring characters who pop up in the shows for short but memorable arcs are who keep the franchise fresh. Numerous characters have come through the Dutton Ranch, often to lend a hand, but more often, to see if they have a chance at taking over the lucrative land.

The villains in Taylor Sheridan shows are just as captivating as the heroes at the center, and Willa Hayes from Market Equities is no different. Market Equities is a Fortune 500 company that is introduced in season 3. It’s a real estate company seeking to claim the Dutton Ranch, and it doesn’t particularly care how it does so, as its goals are as lofty as creating an airport and a ski resort. John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and his family stand in their way, of course, but the company’s CEO proves to be a formidable opponent.

Plenty of ranch hands have come through the Dutton Ranch on Yellowstone but Laramie has lasted longer than others, even after causing trouble.

Willa Hayes Is The CEO Of Market Equities & A Yellowstone Season 3 Antagonist
Willa Hayes Offers To Buy The Yellowstone Ranch For A Huge Sum Of Money

Willa Hayes first appears in season 3, episode 6, “All for Nothing”, where she meets with Roarke (Josh Holloway) and Jamie (Wes Bentley) to help smooth over the relationship between the Duttons and Market Equities. Willa offers Jamie $500 million for the Yellowstone land, leaving the Dutton family black sheep speechless. Willa appears in three more episodes of season 3 and runs up against Beth (Kelly Reilly), whom Willa discovers is shorting Market Equities stocks. She continues trying to maneuver her way through the Dutton family, but Beth ends up being too formidable a match for her.

Willa presents another kind of threat to the Dutton Ranch, this time in the form of something moCollage of Karen Pittman as Willa Hayes in Yellowstone.re abstract and dangerous, that can’t be settled with a rattlesnake to the face, as was the case with her coworker.

In her final appearance, season 3, episode 10, “The World is Purple”, the season finale, Willa loses her job due to misconduct allegations, which are implied to have been falsely planted by Beth. Willa presents another kind of threat to the Dutton Ranch, this time in the form of something more abstract and dangerous, that can’t be settled with a rattlesnake to the face, as was the case with her coworker.. Instead, Beth has played the corporate game, ridding the Duttons of Willa the way white-collar employees are removed all the time.

Caroline Warner (Jacki Weaver) replaced Willa as CEO and becomes a formidable enemy in her own right.

Karen Pittman is excellent in the role, playing Willa with a regal and arrogant air of authority. She had a lot of fun with the character as well, telling EW,

 

Pittman is a force when she makes her Yellowstone debut, and it’s clear from the moment she meets with Jamie that there’s a reason Roarke and Market Equity brought in the big guns. At the same time, there are cracks in her character that make it believable that she can be beaten.

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