‘Yellowstone’ TV: Does Cole Hauser Think Rip Wheeler Looks at John Dutton as Father Figure?

by Halle Ames

Does actor Cole Hauser, who plays Rip Wheeler on Yellowstone, see John Dutton as a father figure for his character?

Rip Wheeler is a character with a troubling home life. At least, that was the case when Rip was a kid. During a throwback episode of Yellowstone, the show revealed how Rip Wheeler came to work on the Dutton ranch. During the episode, we see that after Rip’s father beat his younger brother and mother to death, Rip killed his evil dad with a frying pan. Following the murder, Rip fled the scene. When officers found the dirty teenager, they called John Dutton. John arrived and asked Rip if he would like to come to the Yellowstone ranch where he could live for free and be fed. The only stipulation was that he’d be required to work as a ranch hand.

While growing up on the ranch, Rip began to see John Dutton as the father figure he never really had. While John loves Rip and values him on the massive property, he will never see Rip as his son. Why? Basically, it boils down to the fact that Rip doesn’t bear the Dutton name and he isn’t a blood relative. Now you see why John treats Jamie like trash but is forgiving and sweet to Beth and Kayce. Jamie isn’t his biological son. Regardless, Rip Wheeler will always strive for John’s acceptance and sees him as his father figure.

Cole Hauser Opens Up About Rivalry Between Rip Wheeler And Kayce Dutton

Cole Hauser spoke to Screen Rant in 2019 about Rip Wheeler’s relationship with each member of the Dutton family. The interviewer asked Hauser if he thought there was tension between his character, Rip, and Kayce Dutton after Kayce decided to return to the ranch. After all, Kayce is seen as the prodigal son by John and his late wife. So, does that make Rip jealous?

“Between Kayce and I, yeah. I think what’s interesting about our relationship is it is a big brother-little brother relationship, and there is some obvious residue from him leaving the ranch and kind of not helping his father when I think he should have,” said Hauser. “But in the end, I think Rip loves each and every one of his sons like he does John, and obviously, he has a tremendous amount of love for Beth. So I don’t think he’s the kind of person that goes, ‘I’m gonna put myself in the middle of this and stand on my own two feet.’ It’s been happening for thirty years.”

However, Rip Wheeler may become a permanent member of the family if he gets the chance to marry Beth. First, we have to see if Beth survives the explosion that occurred at the end of season three. If Beth is no longer with us, Rip may never get the chance to become part of the exclusive Dutton family.

Yellowstone season four is just over a month away!