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‘Yellowstone’s Cole Hauser on playing Rip Wheeler: “He has a darkness that I love”

Season five is firing up to be a big one.

Beth and Rip: Beginning to Happily Ever After
Paramount via Yellowstone YouTube

Yellowstone’s Cole Hauser is opening up about his attraction to playing Rip Wheeler in everyone’s favorite cowboy drama ahead of the highly anticipated season five debut. The reason he feels so connected to Rip is sure to stoke the already burning fire in your heart for both the character and the actor.

In a chat with Jimmy Fallon, Hauser spoke about everything from becoming Rip Wheeler to the Yellowstone fan that most wowed him, but the part of the conversation that stands out most is how he saw his character portrayed as he went out for the role.

“You know what, I looked at the Dutton you know, family and to me — I thought they were all great. Obviously, you know, Wes is phenomenal and Luke, but what resonated to me was Rip. You know, he has a darkness that I love and a passion with Beth and I just thought, you know, this is a character that not only can grow, but there’s tons of colors. And so, as an actor, that’s kind of what you dream of.”

Fallon asked Hauser if he knew his character would become a heartthrob and with absolutely no irony in his tone, he responded with a quick, “No Jimmy.”

Of course, it took all but two seconds of screen time for Rip Wheeler to become a household name and heartthrob, but the character’s other side appealed to Hauser the most. He also commented on his relationship with Beth, and fans will undeniably love the continued connection they share as season five unfolds. There’s more weight on Rip’s shoulders now that John is governor, but there’s always time for Rip and Beth to share a beautiful moment together.

In fact, Jimmy Fallon shared an emotional breakthrough between the characters in a sneak peek of season five, and it’s as tear-jerking and beautiful as we’ve grown to expect.

Beth is trying not to cry as she tells Rip something important was taken from them, and it’s easy to speculate that she’s trying to muster up the courage to talk about the sterilization procedure she endured without her knowledge. Rip is holding space for Beth, but at the same time, he’s telling her that whatever was stolen isn’t something he wants — he’s happy with her, with their life together, and it’s heartwarming but also bittersweet as we know he’s not yet aware of Beth’s most heartbreaking secret.

Of course, it’s not all heartache at the ranch, and Hauser also spoke about an unexpected fan of Yellowstone: everyone’s favorite Degrassi star turned rapper — Drake. For Drake’s recent birthday celebration, Cole Hauser gave him the gift that keeps on giving, something any fan of the series would feel lucky to have.

“I didn’t see that one coming. No, a buddy of mine, Jake, said Drake wants a pair of boots for his birthday, and I was like, ‘He actually rides?’ Like what he’s talking about. He’s like, no, no, no, he doesn’t ride, he just wants a pair of boots, and he wants you to ride in the boots and give them to him, and I was like, fair enough. What Drake wants, he gets.”

Of course, Fallon asked the burning question we’ve all been wondering, will Drake make an appearance on Yellowstone soon? We might not have an official answer just yet, but if Hauser has anything to say about it, he’s on board!

“Oh, yeah.”

Could it be part of God’s plan for the rapper to end up on the series? Fingers crossed!

About the author

Ashley Marie

Ashley Marie is a staff writer, beat leader, Disney fanatic, and Yellowstone expert. When she's not filling her friends in on all the entertainment news they can handle, she's drinking her go-to Starbucks order — a caramel macchiato, thank you — and wishing she was at Disney World or spending time at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. With a focus on positivity and kindness in journalism, Ashley has been writing for a decade and hopes to keep bringing you articles for decades to come.