‘Yellowstone’ Star Jefferson White Opens Up About Cole Hauser’s ‘Transformation’ into Badass Rip Wheeler

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo Credit: Yellowstone Gallery, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom)

Two of the most beloved stars on “Yellowstone,” Jefferson White and Cole Hauser play entirely different characters.

Fans of the hit Paramount Networks series know Jefferson White as the quirky but lovable ranch hand, Jimmy Hurdstrom. Jimmy is one of the show’s most complex characters and viewers have witnessed his maturation process through four seasons. The “Yellowstone” faithful also know Cole Hauser as the big bad cowboy and Dutton family enforcer Rip Wheeler. He has a take no prisoners mentality and is more than willing to do the Dutton family’s dirty work when called upon. Jimmy and Rip could not be more different as characters but they also share similarities. In a recent podcast appearance, White speaks on both his and Hauser’s character and the process they both go through to bring Jimmy and Rip to life.

Jefferson White says his co-star goes from mild-mannered, clean-shaven Cole Hauser to the Ruthless Rip Wheeler in the blink of an eye.

“It’s both a transformation and also, in acting there’s sort of a constant question,” he says. “Are you transforming into this character, or are you revealing some part of yourself that is this character, ya know? And the amazing thing is I’ve only known Cole through the process of working on ‘Yellowstone’ so for me, as long as I’ve known Cole he’s been Rip.”

Cole Hauser wasn’t the only actor transforming into a character that is foreign to them as Jefferson White did the same.

“You know when I first started doing this show four years ago, I didn’t really know anything about the western world,” the “Yellowstone” star explains. “I didn’t know anything about cattle ranching, about cowboying, riding rodeo, about any of this stuff, so the last four years has been a real crash course for me.”

Jefferson White Discusses ‘Role of Lifetime’ as Jimmy Hurdstrom

While Cole Hauser has found superstar status as Rip Wheeler, Jefferson White isn’t too far behind him. White has turned Jimmy into one of the most popular “Yellowstone” characters. In fact, Jimmy is such a hit with the show’s fan base, he is expected to be a primary character in the “6666” spinoff. For now, however, the actor is just enjoying the journey that “Yellowstone” has sent him on.

“Yeah, it’s really wherever it takes me,” he says. “Similar to real life, you don’t get many choices. For Jimmy, he doesn’t get a lot of choices. He was plucked, picked up, and tossed to the Yellowstone ranch. At some point, they got sick of him messing up and threw him over to the Sixes. He gets buffeted back and forth by these powerful forces. I really think it’s appropriate, then, that I, myself, don’t make a lot of choices. I try to do a good job, show up, and be a good soldier wherever they send me.”