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Yellowstone star Cole Hauser watched Kevin Costner “from afar for 30 years” before they became co-stars. Now, they play characters with a father/son relationship — rancher John Dutton and his loyal ranch foreman Rip Wheeler. And during the first four seasons, they’ve grown closer as colleagues and friends.

Yellowstone Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler and Kevin Costner as John Dutton in am image from Paramount Network
Cole Hauser and Kevin Costner | Emerson Miller/Paramount

‘Yellowstone’ co-stars Cole Hauser and Kevin Costner got more screen time together in season 4

The most recent season of Yellowstone to air on the Paramount Network was a “great year for Rip and John,” according to Hauser. He told Cinema Blend that they had more scenes together in season 4, where they were “definitely closer, for a lot of reasons.”

“It was really wonderful kind of working on that relationship with Kevin. You know, he’s a guy I’ve been watching for a very long time, and to have more to do with him and more to create with him is always, for me, an honor,” Hauser said.

Ahead of the season 4 finale of Taylor Sheridan’s hit, the Good Will Hunting alum told Entertainment Tonight that his friendship with Costner developed further off-screen throughout the season.

“The opportunity to work with him at first was great, and then getting to know him and his passion for not only acting, but for John Dutton and the show was wonderful to see,” Hauser said. 

“We’ve become great friends and he’s just a lovely guy. He’s from the same hometown that I’m from, he’s just down the road. So we had that in common and he’s like an older brother, y’know? It’s nice to look up to somebody and see someone as passionate as he is.”

Cole Hauser doesn’t think he would ever call his co-star ‘Kev’

During a recent interview with Awards Daily, Hauser went into further detail about the cohesion that he and Costner have as actors. He talked about the understanding that Rip and John have with minimal dialogue and the relationship that John has with Rip that he doesn’t have with his kids.

Hauser explained that he and Costner “come from the same world.” Hauser is from Santa Barbara, and Costner is from Ventura. He says their high schools were big rivals, so there’s “a lot of shit talk” between them.

“Actually, it’s easier because it’s Kevin. Initially, there was always something to talk about. It was just natural. It was a natural easy merger,” Hauser explained. “I’ve always respected his style, the way he’s held himself in his personal life as well. He’s just a good role model in many respects.”

But just because they’ve become good friends on the Yellowstone set, that doesn’t mean they are close enough for nicknames. 

“I don’t know that I would ever call him Kev,” Hauser said with a laugh. “I’m not looking for that. I’ve got a lot of friends, I’m good.”

The ‘Yellowstone’ star knows Kevin Costner will give ‘110 percent’

Hauser and Costner aren’t besties — that’s not how their relationship works. Instead, they have a strong professional relationship, and that’s exactly what Hauser wants.

“I’m looking for somebody who I think brings not only a standard and a quality of work to the day, to the scene. We’re about to go on a long journey here in Montana, and what I know I’ll get from Kevin is I will get 110 percent,” Hauser said.


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“To me, it’s not about being buds or friends or any of that. It’s about work and about doing great work. And if that happens, which it certainly has with Kevin and I, we have become friends, then great. “

Yellowstone Season 5 premieres Sunday, November 13 on the Paramount Network.