Yellowstone has seen plenty of big-name stars come through the ranch doors. From Kevin Costner to Harrison Ford, there’s no shortage of star power in Montana.
You’d think getting a role on Yellowstone would be a tricky feat, but there’s one Yellowstone cast member who didn’t even need to audition for the hit TV series. So, who was it? Costner? Ford? Elliott? Well, it was the real-life Rip Wheeler, Cole Hauser.
“I knew that’s who I wanted, from the beginning. He didn’t audition. I wanted him from day one,” Taylor Sheridan told Deadline. “There were some things he had done that I saw, where there was an intensity and a clarity of what that character wanted.”
“There is no subtext with the guy and that’s what I really liked. Because Rip has no subtext. You never wonder how he feels about you. And so I knew I wanted him from day one. It took a little convincing to get him on board but…we had some fortunate decisions made in casting and he was certainly one of them.”
So, Western overlord Sheridan knew Hauser would be perfect for the role of Rip from day one. And, honestly, we can’t blame him. Rip went on to become one of our favorite Yellowstone characters, and Hauser plays him perfectly.
Hauser is the great-grandson to the original President of Warner Bros. and has show business in his blood, so it seems fitting that he would end up playing a major role in one of the most successful drama series of recent years.
What’s more, if Kevin Costner is set to depart before the conclusion of the series, it’s perfectly possible that Rip could become more of a central lead to finish out the show.
While the fate of everyone in the series remains up in the air, we’ve got our fingers crossed that Rip isn’t one of the Yellowstone characters most likely to die by the end of Yellowstone season 5 part 2. Here’s hoping!
For more Dutton misadventures, check out our guide to the Yellowstone timeline and our guide to Yellowstone 1944. You can also check out our list of the best Yellowstone episodes, and check out our feature on why Dallas ran so Yellowstone could fly.