Yellowstone Star Cole Hauser Talks About Critics ‘Coming Out of the Woodwork’ to Praise Show

by Jon D. B.
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As Hollywood critics continue to heap praise onto Yellowstone late in the game, Rip Wheeler’s Cole Hauser continues to keep them straight.

In his latest interview, the fan-favorite actor speaks to awards show platform Gold Derby. And just minutes in, the trade asks Hauser what he thinks of critics outside Middle America jumping on the Yellowstone bandwagon four seasons into the show. If you’re familiar with Hauser, then you know he’s about to give another direct and honest appraisal.

“I’ll start by saying this, the show – interiorly – has been very successful since the beginning. Since year one,” Hauser begins for the interview. “I think, interestingly enough, because of what the show’s about and Taylor’s style of writing and characters, and this sort of storytelling over time, it’s grown out to the edges of America,” he motions. “And I do want to say…”

Before he can finish his answer, Hauser cuts himself short to draw a distinction. “You’re obviously a loyal fan, and there’s lots of loyal fans that’ve been out there – millions of ’em – for a very long time that’ve stuck by our side and supported this show,” he tells Gold Derby‘s knowledgeable host.

“It’s because of [you] that we are where we are. But to answer the question… It’s simply that the critics in Hollywood and New York – finally, with the numbers we’ve created – they have to recognize them,” Hauser laughs. “They have to take notice.”

This feverish run of critics “coming out of the woodwork” amidst Season 4’s record-shattering ratings is a good thing, in the end, as Hauser says. But if any of the cast has been vocal about the hesitancy of Hollywood critics to acknowledge a Middle America phenomenon, it’s the Rip Wheeler actor – who’s proven as stalwart as his character.

‘We started as a grassroots show’

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Senior Awards Analyst Scott Feinberg just last week, Hauser had to step in to defend the show amidst Feinberg’s attempts to get the cast to “explain” their runaway success of late.

“You’ve got to remember this, and I said this to you earlier,” Hauser interjected. “We started as a grassroots show. And that means you have a core audience that really follows you. Falls in love with you. They start talking. We’ve slowly made our way to the edges of this country, where now you guys are showing up. You know what I’m saying?”

Feinberg laughs it off, as does Hauser. But the statement rings true with fans (like Outsider) who’ve been with the show since the first season.

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Yellowstone: John Dutton (center – Kevin Costner), owner of the Dutton Ranch is surrounded by his ranch team (pictured l to r) Walker (Ryan Bingham), Lloyd (Forrie Smith), Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), Jimmy (Jefferson White), Colby (Denim Richards). (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

“We’ve always [had our audience],” Hauser continued. “Luke [Grimes] and I would roll around Park City, Salt Lake City, wherever we were to have fun, and people were coming up – they loved this show three years ago, four years ago. It was never [lacking], it’s just that it’s finally getting recognition from you all,” Hauser grinned, pointing to Feinberg before offering him a well-meaning high-five.

“My apologies for taking so long,” Feinberg stumbled.

“Eh!” Hauser grunted.

“You’ve got to be nice when they come!” Beth Dutton’s Kelly Reilly quipped to Hauser. By that time, however, he had the entire cast behind him to the tune of raucous laughter.

Cole Hauser Would Rather ‘Yellowstone’ Win Awards ‘As an Entity’ Than Him Personally

Speaking further to Gold Derby, Hauser reiterates his stance through the lens of Yellowstone‘s SAG nomination for Best Ensemble.

“You know, I look at this business, and a lot of it is ‘me, me, me, me,’ especially in the acting game,” Hauser ponders. “But it’s not. It’s a team effort. There’s a wonderful cast. Our first kind of ‘big award’ was us as a team of actors and artists across the board. That was a real acknowledgement to the success of the show.”

Yellowstone lost to the cast of Succession at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards, unfortunately. But the nomination is a prestigious nod for the show; one partially responsible for Hollywood critics finally giving the Sheridan show it’s due.

Hauser says he would rather Yellowstone continue to see award nominations “as an entity” than himself “personally,” too. “That’s just who I am, though.”

Watch Cole Hauser’s full interview with the awards platform below. Rip Wheeler will return for Yellowstone Season 5 this November 13.

Rough diamond Rip Wheeler ‘is not a puppy dog, but there’s a softer side; you get to see into his heart.’ The neo-Western was created by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan about a powerful Montana ranching family under constant threat. Gold Derby editor Rob Licuria hosts this webchat.

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