Yellowstone TV: Cole Hauser Explains How Rip Wheeler’s Look Was Affected by Kelly Reilly

by Jon D. B.

Sharp Yellowstone fans need not be told Cole Hauser looks different for his incredible role as Rip Wheeler. No one would blame the actor, or showrunner Taylor Sheridan, for going the extra mile to have Rip look even more intimidating. Turns out, however, there was more to the decision than adding the ‘dark’ to his ‘tall & handsome.’

In short: Yes, Cole Hauser does die his hair and beard black for the role. But how did he and the production team come to this decision?

While speaking with host Jenny McCarthy on her show recently, Hauser reveals just that.

“When I first got the role, as you know Kelly’s a ginger and I’m ginger as well,” the actor starts off in their interview. He refers, of course, to his co-star and love interest, Beth Dutton’s Kelly Reilly – who sports strawberry blonde hair.

“We looked like we were brother and sister! So we kind of had to make sure that wouldn’t be the case,” Hauser laughs. And showrunner Taylor Sheridan agreed. Hauser recalls that Sheridan knew something had to be done when seeing both actors side by side.

“[Taylor Sheridan said] ‘I don’t want to do it to her, but what do you think about dying your hair?’ Because I’ve dyed it for other stuff that I’ve done,” he continues. Having seen himself with darker hair for other roles, Cole Hauser didn’t hesitate. He took one for the team – and the jet-black haired, grizzled Rip Wheeler was born.

“They liked that look, and it’s kind of a harder look. Your eyes pop a little bit more,” Hauser adds. We agree, sir. Bold move. Solid choice.

Cole Hauser: “Your body ends up changing into something that it wasn’t before”

In addition, Hauser also goes into detail on his “extensive training regime” to ensure he fully embodies the “presence of a seasoned cattle rancher.”

“For the physicality, I just rode horses every day, all day long, until my legs were about to fall off,” Hauser reveals. “And that just gets you strong. You eat what cowboys eat, which is just rice, beans and steak.”

Do this for long enough, Hauser says, “And then your body ends up changing into something that it wasn’t before.”

Combine all of this, and you’ve got 50% of the recipe for one of the best characters on television’s top cable drama. The other 50%, of course, comes from the undeniable talent of Cole Hauser as an actor.

Thankfully, fans don’t have long to wait for more from Rip & Beth, either. Season 4 of Yellowstone is expected to hit this summer on Paramount Network. For all the latest from the show until then, stick with your fellow fans at