Yellowstone star Cole Hauser chose the role of Rip Wheeler despite his limited appearance in the pilot script. Hauser had been friends with creator Taylor Sheridan for years when he was casting his neo-western. And after picking his brain about the character of Rip and where he was going, Hauser says he “fell in love” with what Sheridan was talking about.
However, Hauser also had his own ideas when it came to the character. And the actor insisted that he change his appearance in order to play the role.
‘Yellowstone’ star Cole Hauser didn’t want Rip and Beth ‘to look like brother and sister’
Hauser says that after he chose the role of Rip, he met with Sheridan and his co-creator John Linson in Utah about the character. He tells Awards Daily that when he arrived at the meeting, he already had a beard and his hair was the length he wanted it to be. But, there was still one change he needed to make.
“They both looked at me and they said, ‘So what are you thinking about your hair?’ And I was like, here’s my idea, because I think Kelly [Reilly] and I look like brother and sister because I’m a ginger. And they started laughing. And I go “I want to dye it dark.”
Hauser says that both Linson and Sheridan “loved that idea.” And it ended up working well for the actor. He says that now he’s “really gray,” so the hair dye “kind of covers up my age.”
Cole Hauser insisted on changing his appearance
Hair color wasn’t the only thing that Hauser was worried about when becoming Rip Wheeler. He also insisted on changing his appearance so Rip could be “bigger than everybody” and “country strong.”
“He’s not going to a gym. He’s lifting bales of hay and working, so he’s not skinny and muscular. He’s just a big country strong looking guy. So I put on twenty pounds and most of it, I won’t lie, was weight. It wasn’t tonal muscle,” Hauser explained.
“I also think the reality of these guys when they get older is, they start to break down. Again, they’re not going to the gym, they’re not taking growth hormones or anything to be shredded. They eat meat and potatoes, and it’s just kind of who they are. I just wanted to be as authentic as possible.”
The ‘Yellowstone’ star says Rip Wheeler has ‘many different colors’
There’s more to Rip than his appearance. Hauser told Entertainment Tonight that his character has “a ton of different colors” that Sheridan has allowed him to play. He’s more than a rugged ranch hand who wears a cowboy hat, black jacket, sunglasses, black gloves, and a silk scarf.
“Obviously, there’s the dark side of him. The love, the romance, the passion, the friendship, the loyalty,” Hauser said. “All of it is just what you dream about as an actor. So, I have been very fortunate in that way.”
Yellowstone Season 5 premieres Sunday, November 13 on the Paramount Network. Seasons 1 through 4 are now playing on Peacock.