‘Yellowstone’: How Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser’s On-Screen Chemistry Was Pure Luck

by Joe Rutland
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On Yellowstone, the on-screen chemistry between Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser is something to behold. And it happens to be pure luck. Why? Well, we will talk about that a bit. They were already on watch for those roles. Hauser had a previous friendship and connection with Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan. Reilly already appears on casting director John Papsidera’s list. Now, they are an amazing part of the show’s ongoing storylines. They get married rather quickly in the Season 4 season finale.

‘Yellowstone’ Stars Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser Work On Their Chemistry

It appears that Papsidera had some inside scoop when it came to knowing about Kelly Reilly. “Kelly was a discovery that [Sheridan] wasn’t familiar with,” Papsidera said in an article from Vanity Fair. His challenge with filling the Beth role? It was “how difficult it would be to find somebody that incorporated all the things that he wrote Beth to be. I was thinking about women that I felt were strong and smart and beautiful, and Kelly was on that short list for me.” 

But the amazing thing about the on-screen chemistry between Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser is that they didn’t do a screen test. That’s right, Yellowstone fans. Both actors just took to their roles. Once they got into playing Beth and Rip, the on-again, off-again nature of their relationship simply lit up TV screens.

“I looked at several different parts in the pilot, and Rip is in very little—two or three scenes,” Hauser said to Vanity Fair. “But I kind of saw past that and then got on the phone with Taylor and talked to him and kind of picked his brain about where this character was going and who he was.”

Tense Scenes Become Brighter Through Rip’s Own Sense of Humor

When you watch these two closely, then you can see Beth getting under Rip’s skin…or trying to do so. On Yellowstone, their scenes can be mesmerizing at times. You might see Beth really upset with Rip and telling him off. It creates tenseness in their relationship. Well, Rip will come back with something witty or funny. It will lighten up the tension right at the moment.

“I’ve told Kelly this from the get-go, but the most disarming way when [women] get pissed off is to just start laughing,” Hauser said. “It’s the only way.”

One thing is apparent, though. Reilly and Hauser do seem to enjoy working together on-screen. “We were just very free together,” Hauser said. “You know, it’s rare that you find an actress—and she’s commented about it too in interviews—where I’m free to do as I please, and she follows my lead sometimes, and sometimes it’s vice versa and I’ll follow hers.”

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