Cole Hauser may be best-known for being Rip Wheeler in Yellowstone these days, but you may not realize that he got his start in the American independent movie scene in the 90s. It’s understandable if you didn’t make the connection, because Hauser had his natural red, curly hair at the time – which is in stark contrast to Rip’s jet black hair and beard.
Hauser became friends with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon when he was part of the ensemble cast of 1992’s School Ties – which also included Brendan Fraser, Chris O’Donnell, and Anthony Rapp. He rejoined Damon and Affleck for one of their best movies – Good Will Hunting – and was one of the four friends at the center of the story, along with Ben’s little brother Casey. Ben Affleck spoke of his wife Jennifer Lopez’s love for Yellowstone, and especially for Rip‘s romance with Beth Dutton – on the Bill Simmons podcast in March 2023.
In 2000, Hauser starred in science fiction movie Pitch Black with Vin Diesel (and popped up in 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious), and war movie Tigerland with Colin Farrell. Another surprise, if you happen to delve into the depths of Hauser’s IMDb list is that he was part of the ensemble cast of Richard Linklater’s classic comedy movie Dazed and Confused – which was famously Matthew McConaughey‘s first movie.
On the Bill Simmons podcast from March 2023, Matt Damon added that he “was always mystified that Cole wasn’t a giant movie star. When we worked with him [on School Ties], he was 16, I’ll never forget. We were driving back into Boston, leaving set for the first week, and we’re like ‘Leaving me and you out, who’s the fuckin’ best actor here?’ And both of us, at the same time, were like, ‘Hauser.’ He was raw talent, just astonishing, and just the sweetest soul.”
Check out our guide to the best Ben Affleck movies and the best Matt Damon movies. If you’re a Yellowstone fan, we have a whole drove of content for you, including finding out more about the Yellowstone filming location and the Yellowstone brand. We also cannot wait for Yellowstone season 5 part 2, of course.