‘Yellowstone’ Star Cole Hauser Explains Rip Wheeler’s Massive Appeal to Fans

by TK Sanders

Yellowstone actor Cole Hauser recently sat down for a virtual interview to explain the intricacies of fan-favorite character Rip Wheeler. According to Hauser, who has to walk a fine line between murderous monster and loving family man in order to bring Rip to life, the character he plays requires a lot of “different colors.”

“I mean listen, [Rip’s] got a lot of different colors,” Hauser said during an interview with Gold Derby when asked about his character’s appeal for fans. “Taylor [Sheridan] and I have really worked hard over the course of four seasons to make sure that the character’s either growing or the audience is seeing more into his heart. Whether it’s the love he has for Beth, or the loyalty he has for John, or the leadership he has for the bunk house, or the death and destruction he creates, it’s always about the love he has for the Dutton family.”

Hauser also pointed out that appealing characters require honest, multi-dimensional glimpses into their souls.

“There’s a lot of different levels to him,” he continued. “And Taylor and I have really dug deep — him as a writer and me as an actor — to create an entertaining and well-rounded character.”

Hauser said that some die-hard Yellowstone fans tattooed his character’s name on their bodies, or named their babies ‘Rip’

As for Rip’s specific appeal with fans, Hauser sees the situation as a blend of enigma and freedom. Rip is a wild card in the story, and that wildness, tempered with love, makes him irresistible to fans looking for drama.

“I’m always talking to Taylor about consistency of character,” Hauser said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, or if you break these rules of the game [in the show], then you’re going to be dealt with. Sometimes it’s death. Sometimes it’s your hand getting broken … Rip is kind of the black hand of the mafia.He’s part of the Montana landscape. No bank account, no license. He’s his own animal. As an actor, it’s the most freedom for a character. It’s also a wonderful detail.”

In a different interview with the entire cast of Yellowstone, Hauser said it’s an honor to play a character that really means a lot to audiences.

Hauser explained, “ultimately, you get into this business and you hope for a couple of great roles in your lifetime; and to be able to affect people in the way this character has is wonderful. And just the different colors that [Taylor Sheridan] laid out for me. I mean ultimately it’s an honor to have people come up and love something that you do. And whether they can connect to the serious intensity side, the loving side with [Beth], the loyalty that I have with [John], you know, it’s an honor.”