‘Yellowstone’ TV: Rip Wheeler Actor Cole Hauser Revealed He Was Originally Supposed To Play a Different Character

by Thad Mitchell

As the rough and tough cowboy on “Yellowstone,” veteran actor Cole Hauser has made a name for himself in the role of Rip Wheeler.

Rip is simply one of the most popular characters on “Yellowstone” amongst the show’s huge fan base. Big, strong and with a nasty deposition, Rip is an intimidating presence that not many want to tangle with. Aside from throwing one against Kayce Dutton, Rip is undefeated in fistfights through three seasons. While Rip is more than capable of herding up the ranch’s cattle and planting a fence post, fans love the character for other reasons. It is his extreme loyalty to the Dutton family, that gives him his true value as a character. Rip serves as an enforcer for the family, doing away with their enemies by any means necessary.

Cole Hauser also gives Rip a little bit of a soft side as well, though that side is rarely seen on the show. Still, “Yellowstone” fans are head over heels for Hauser’s work as Rip Wheeler. It would be hard to imagine anyone else filling those cowboy boots. But, according to Hauser, that was almost the case. Appearing on the Ryen Russillo Podcast, Hauser sees he initially set his sights on another role as one of the Dutton brothers. He says he had to convince his team that Rip Wheeler was the right role for him.

“John Linson, who’s the co-creator of the show is one of my dear friends,” he says in the interview. “He came to me and said ‘You know there’s this new show with Kevin Costner, and take a look at it and see what you think. I think you’d be great in this,’ and he didn’t say any role or anything.”

‘Yellowstone’ Actor Explains How He Landed Role

Hauser says he was intrigued by the “Yellowstone” script but didn’t agree with his team on which part to shoot for.

“So I looked at the script and I think initially, my team wanted me to position myself to play one of the sons, and I just didn’t see it at all,” he continues. “I didn’t think there was a role that was right for me when it came to Jamie or Lee, or Kayce.”

There was, however, a particular role on “Yellowstone” that caught Cole Hauser’s eye. He had to convince his team that it was the right way to go.

“So the one that jumped off the page to me was Rip,” he says. “They were like ‘What’re you doing, that’s two scenes and a pilot.’ I said ‘No, this character’s gonna have something really good, I can just feel it.

Hauser’s instincts were correct and he auditioned for and accepted the role of Rip Wheeler. The rest, as they say, is “Yellowstone” history and fans couldn’t be happier with how it worked out.