‘Yellowstone’ Fans Can’t Believe Cole Hauser Once Played This Villain

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Paramount Network)

“Yellowstone” fans know and love Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler. But, how many knew that he played a villain in “2 Fast 2 Furious”? One fan just figured it out, and others are realizing that he’s been in a surprising amount of movies.

In a recent Reddit thread, the original post asks, “Did Rip really play Verone in 2 fast 2 furious?” The short answer: yes, that’s Cole Hauser as the villain Carter Verone. He’s the Argentinian drug lord who runs his whole operation from Miami. Hauser looks completely different from his “Yellowstone” character, but that’s the power of shaving your beard.

In “2 Fast 2 Furious,” Monica Fuentes works undercover with Verone. She hires undercover cops Brian O’Connor and Roman Pearce as drivers. Verone plans to kill Brian and Roman after they deliver a package, and so Monica and U.S. Customs devise a plan to stop Verone. Eventually, Brian has to save Monica, which of course involves driving his car into the side of Verone’s boat. Verone is arrested, but Brian tells Roman that Verone will never stop hunting them down when he’s released from prison.

The comments on the thread went on to list some other Cole Hauser roles that fans were surprised to learn. For example, he also played Benny in “Dazed and Confused,” Will Hunting’s friend Billy in “Good Will Hunting,” Red Atkins in “Tears of the Sun,” Johns in “Pitch Black,” and Jack Conners in “School Ties,” one of his earliest roles.

One fan mentioned that he looks so different in “Yellowstone” that it’s hard to recognize him in his previous roles. He definitely has a recognizable look on “Yellowstone.” Mostly, though, Cole Hauser is just a talented and varied actor; going from playing the sidekick friend, to the villain, to the morally gray ranch hand.

Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly’s Chemistry on ‘Yellowstone’ was Pure Luck

According to John Papsidera, casting director for “Yellowstone” who had previously worked with Kelly Reilly, Taylor Sheridan wasn’t even aware of her before casting her as Beth. He had trouble with “how difficult it would be to find somebody that incorporated all the things that [Sheridan] wrote Beth to be,” Papsidera told Vanity Fair in February. “I was thinking about women that I felt were strong and smart and beautiful, and Kelly was on that short list for me.” 

The interesting thing about this story, is that once they were cast, Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly never did a screen test together. They just fell right into their characters and their rocky relationship. It was pure luck that the two got along so well, and were able to portray that on-again-off-again, wild, chaotic, honey-sweet relationship we love to root for.