‘Yellowstone’: Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly Lucked Out With Their Insane Chemistry Because They Never Had a Screen Test


  • Yellowstone stars Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly were hired without a screen test.
  • Hauser was already friends with creator Taylor Sheridan and Reilly was on casting director John Papsidera’s shortlist.
  • After one early scene left Sheridan “glued to the monitor” Rip and Beth became a major storyline.
Yellowstone stars Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly embrace as Rip Wheeler and Beth Dutton
Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly | Paramount

Yellowstone stars Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly have become one of television’s hottest couples. As Rip Wheeler and Beth Dutton, the duo has captured the attention of viewers during the western’s first four seasons thanks to their insane on-screen chemistry. But as it turns out, the pairing was a lucky move for series creator Taylor Sheridan because Hauser and Reilly were hired without a screen test.

The ‘Yellowstone’ stars were hired without a screen test

According to Vanity Fair, Hauser was friends with Sheridan before Yellowstone. And when casting director John Papsidera started assembling the cast, he says “there were a handful of people that [Sheridan] already was kind of ruminating about and leaning into.” One of those people was Hauser, who chose the role of Rip after reading the pilot script.

“I looked at several different parts in the pilot, and Rip is in very little—two or three scenes,” Hauser explained. “But I kind of saw past that and then got on the phone with Taylor and talked to him and kind of picked his brain about where this character was going and who he was. We ended up talking for an hour, and I just fell in love with what he was talking about.”

Sheridan wasn’t familiar with British actress Reilly, but Papsidera was. She was on the casting director’s shortlist of strong, smart, and beautiful women. And when Reilly read the script, she immediately connected to the part.

Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly’s insane chemistry was pure luck

Sheridan had always planned for Beth and Rip to have an on-again, off-again relationship. But it wasn’t until he noticed their on-screen chemistry that he started to give the relationship more focus.

“Initially there was a scene where we were having sex in her bedroom on the dresser, and she slaps me, and the way I reacted. I remember walking out of that scene and everybody was just kind of glued to the monitors, and I saw John and Taylor and the producers and the D.P. and so on. And I looked at them and they just all looked up, like, a ‘Wow, that was amazing’ kind of feeling,” Hauser recalled.

The ‘Yellowstone’ stars have become close friends

Reilly told Looper that she and Hauser are “such good friends.” And she admits they are “so lucky to have found each other.”

“We get to go on this journey with these two incredible characters with each other. We’re both really protective of them, and we’re really passionate about the work,” Reilly said. “We’re both at a point in our careers where we found roles that we could put our soul and heart into. We really feel blessed. We don’t take it for granted. And we support each other and have fun.”

Hauser agrees, and told Cinema Blend that Sheridan did a “fantastic job” of putting the two characters together so fans can watch them grow and navigate different waters together, while forming an even stronger bond.

“It was wonderful doing [Yellowstone season 4] with Kelly. She’s one of my favorite actresses I’ve ever worked with and working with her on this relationship has just been so much fun,” Hauser said.

Yellowstone returns for season 5 this summer on the Paramount Network.

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