“I had nothing”: Taylor Sheridan Owed His Life to Sandra Bullock’s ‘The Blind Side’ Producer After Yellowstone Writer Gambled Everything Out of Frustration

Taylor Sheridan Owed His Life to Sandra Bullock’s ‘The Blind Side’ Producer After Yellowstone Writer Gambled Everything Out of Frustration
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Yellowstone showrunner Taylor Sheridan embarked on his Hollywood journey by acting in smaller films and securing recurring roles in TV shows. However, along his journey, the Sons of Anarchy alum fell limited in his creativity. He was seeking something more. His fascination for storytelling and world history was on the brink of changing his life.

Taylor Sheridan
Taylor Sheridan’s journey from an actor to screenwriter

Read also: ‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Exacted Revenge on Harvey Weinstein by Risking His $45M Thriller Starring Elizabeth Olsen

With twenty years of acting experience under his belt, Sheridan entered the realm of screenwriting at the age of 40. His screenwriting expertise was first witnessed in 2015’s Sicario. Although his switch to the craft may seem simple, the process behind it was anything but that. The endeavor carried significant risks, and it was through the support of a few industry figures that Sheridan’s conceived concept was ultimately brought to fruition.


Taylor Sheridan’s Journey As A Screenwriter Started With “Nothing”

Sicario (2015) was Sheridan's first endeavor as a screenwriter
Sicario (2015) was Sheridan’s first endeavor as a screenwriter

In an interview with Uproxx, Sheridan revealed the truth behind his journey into the world of screenwriting. The actor-turned-screenwriter had practically nothing to get his dreams realized.

Having read more than 10,000 scripts during his time as an actor, the Yellowstone creator had honed significant expertise in crafting structured screenplays. Unfortunately, what he lacked were industry connections who would guide him through the process of getting his first screenplay in the hands of the right people.

Following was his statement on the matter:


“DiCaprio can do that [rely on connections]. I couldn’t. I was 12th banana on a cable show. I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t have any concept of how that worked. When I sent the screenplay out, I quit the show at that point. I told my wife, “Don’t worry, honey, I’m going to fix this. I’m going to write a screenplay.”

Taylor Sheridan
Taylor Sheridan had a lot at stake

Related: Taylor Sheridan Staked His Future on One Script That Was Shelved By Studios For Being Too Risky

On the journey toward his aspirations, Taylor Sheridan took substantial risks. He later revealed in the interview that he didn’t even have a writing or acting agent who could assist him in overcoming the obstacles on his path. “I had nothing, I had nothing,” Sheridan emphasized.

All that the filmmaker could rely on was his story. When questioned about the process of getting his script noticed by important individuals in the film industry, Sheridan recalled “begging” an attorney who had previously negotiated a few deals for the actor. Getting Sicario (2015) into production proved a rather troublesome endeavor for the Tulsa King creator. As claimed by Sheridan, It was impossible to put together for three years.” 


With the assistance of a select few industry experts, the renowned filmmaker would soon find a solution.

The Blind Side Producer Turned Taylor Sheridan’s Dreams Into Reality

How producers Molly Smith and Basil Iwanyk made Sicario (2015) a possibility
Producers Molly Smith and Basil Iwanyk made Sicario (2015) a possibility

Taylor Sheridan’s attorney declined to engage in further negotiations with him. It was then that the Veronica Mars alum had to beg to get his script read. Following is how Sheridan recounted the moment:

“I sent it [the script] to the attorney who had negotiated a few deals for me and didn’t want to negotiate anymore, and I was like, “I’m begging you, please, please read this. I don’t know what to do.” He read the script and was very taken by it, so he took it and put it in the hands of some agents who liked me. They staked their reputation on it and started sending it around.”

The themes that Sicario was based on posed challenges in its production. When questioned about the difficulties in bringing the project to fruition, Sheridan explained that the combination of a risky subject matter and a screenplay centered around a female protagonist within a violent storyline failed to resonate with most people. The movie additionally faced numerous strikes against it.

Taylor Sheridan
Taylor Sheridan’s remarkable filmmaking journey

Miraculously, it was through the combined efforts of Molly Smith, the executive producer of Sandra Bullock’s The Blind Side, and Basil Iwanyk, the founder of Thunder Road Films, that Taylor Sheridan’s aspirations in screenwriting received significant support and backing. Following is what the Yellowstone showrunner had to say on the matter:

“Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road read it and loved it. He sent it to [producer] Molly Smith and she loved it. Then [director] Denis Villeneuve; he felt the same way. And all of a sudden we were going into production.”

Consequently, Sicario came to fruition. Taylor Sheridan’s valiant gamble ultimately yielded successful results. The 2015 Denis Villeneuve-directed premise garnered favorable critical acclaim, with its success evidenced by a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film additionally went on to receive three Academy Award nominations.

While the journey may have been tough and laborious, Sheridan’s perseverance and skill in crafting captivating narratives have propelled him to great success in the world of screenwriting and filmmaking. The world now recognizes him as a multi-talented visionary with some of the best TV and film narratives under his belt. There’s simply no stopping his brilliance.


Sicario (2015) is available for streaming on Paramount+.

Source: Uproxx

Read also: What Is Taylor Sheridan’s Net Worth 


Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Articles Published: 659

Debdipta Bhattacharya is a content writer at FandomWire, where she has written more than 500 articles on various topics of interest. She possesses a sincere passion for popular culture, anime, film production, and the evolving world of YouTube and streaming culture which has allowed her to be a devoted and well-informed writer. Debdipta holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. She has honed her skills and expertise in content writing with over two years of experience and strives to learn and grow daily.