Yellowstone ‘Cole Hauser’ Never Expected Fans to Fall in Love With Rip

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Yellowstone is hardly lacking in dramatic characters the uncompromising patriarch John, the brutally strategic Beth, the perpetually beleaguered Jamie but when it comes to the show’s legions of fans, no resident of Dutton Ranch has garnered as overwhelming and devoted a following as Rip Wheeler. . Over the course of the show’s first four seasons, the staunchly loyal rancher has shown himself to be just as comfortable leading the cattle as he is taking the ranch’s enemies on permanent trips to and from the infamous “station”.

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It’s a curve that Cole Hauser didn’t see coming. Asked if he’s surprised fans have fallen in love with Rip, the actor, who recently returned to the character for the show’s fifth season, laughs, “Yes.”

“I think it surprised even Taylor,” admits T&C, “it’s definitely not something that was ever on the table that we ever discussed. In fact, I think it was the exact opposite. [Taylor] said, ‘Oh Man , people are going to think you’re crazy. I wrote this scene where you’re going to kill this guy or burn this guy,’ you know what I mean? And for whatever reason, it backfires.”

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Of course, Rip’s particular devotion to violence has always had the eye of at least one woman, Beth (played by Kelly Reilly). The couple’s spiraling romance, which dates back to their childhood years, always had the flavor of something epic. And it’s season four, they’ve finally (if unconventionally) tied the knot. But that doesn’t mean each of his favorite ranches is approaching life differently in the final season — or that he considers himself a member of Montana’s first family.

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“Taylor didn’t write it that way, which I love. I actually like that it’s business as usual,” says Hauser. “No, I don’t think he’s ever thought of being a Dutton. It’s more the loyalty, the honor he has for John, the friendship he has with Kayce. But no, never a Dutton.”

Lately, Hauser has been living the cowboy life—on and off screen.

“We wrestle steers, push cows. I mean, there’s amazing cowboy stuff this year that I don’t think anybody’s ever seen on TV or in a movie. Taylor really took the shackles off and let the actors do their thing,” he says. “Even when we’re working, when we have an hour off, we’re roping, cutting cows. I mean, there’s no wranglers at this point. It’s us.”

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And while there’s still a long way to go until the end of Yellowstone’s super-big fifth season, every fan is asking the burning question – will there be a season six or is this the end? –, Hauser is characteristically cautious. “Man, I don’t know how it’s going to end,” he laughs. “We’re good now. We shouldn’t be talking about the end. We should be talking about season five.”

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