Kelly Reilly perfectly explains why Cole Hauser’s vital to Yellowstone

The neo-Western series Yellowstone is ending with season 5 part 2, and Kelly Reilly's explains why Cole Hauser's Rip needs to be there.

Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler in Yellowstone

Across 2023 news about Yellowstone and its future has been dominated by behind-the-scenes drama. Kevin Costner is reportedly refusing to return to the series to film his final scenes as John Dutton, and now Taylor Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch is suing Cole Hauser‘s new coffee brand too.

These tensions might not be quite as dramatic (or aggressive) as what we’re used to seeing in the show, but they make for worrying news for Yellowstone fans all the same. Amid all the chaos, could Hauser also refuse to return to the Yellowstone cast for Yellowstone season 5 part 2? Anything’s possible right now, but we’re hopeful that Hauser will be able to put the lawsuit behind him and return as Rip Wheeler, because he’s integral to the story of Kelly Reilly’s Beth Dutton, and therefore Yellowstone overall.

“Him and I, we just click,” she explained, speaking with Elle. “We click as friends; we click as workmates. I’ve never worked with anyone, like a love interest, that I’ve been able to work with so fluidly and with so much trust. We really hold space for each other and help each other out and egg each other on and tell each other if it’s too much, which is usually me going, ‘Is this too much?’ and him responding, ‘Fuck, no.’ He’s always pushing me.

She continued, “I think why people love [Beth and Rip] so much is they’re so tough with everybody else, but with each other, they see each other. There’s something really wholesome about it, which is hilarious, because they’re the least wholesome people I know.”

Evidently, the collaborative trust that Hauser and Reilly have developed together is what’s facilitated the growth of their Yellowstone characters, who play a central role in the whole series, often acting as its emotional core. Without Reilly feeling confident in how far she can push Beth in the presence of Rip, the relationship between the two characters would be severely limited by a lack of authenticity. And, as she explains, it’s only because of Hauser that she’s comfortable taking Beth to the extremes.

As Yellowstone prepares its upcoming conclusion, that relationship is more important to the series than ever. It’ll define the way forward for Beth, who’s in serious trouble as her brother Jamie plans an assassination attempt on her. That puts Hauser’s Rip in the line of fire too, of course, and he’ll do anything to protect his partner Beth.

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Above all though, what we really want is for Beth and Rip to play a role in the planned spin-off series titled 2024, which is expected to act as a sequel to the main series. Hopefully, by then, any disagreements over coffee are long-distant memories.

For more on Yellowstone, see our guide to the Yellowstone timeline and Dutton family tree, and check out what we know about the upcoming 1923 season 2. Or, see our picks for the best Westerns.