How Yellowstone's Cole Hauser Prepared To Play Rip In Season 3

Yellowstone Rip Wheeler Cole Hauser Tate Dutton Brecken Merrill Paramount Network

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Cole Hauser has had an impressive career comprised of many different projects before he agreed to star in Yellowstone opposite Kevin Costner. The result has been a fan-favorite character that has butted heads with some characters and taken heroic stands to help others. Rip Wheeler is a complicated cowboy with an intriguing future ahead in Season 3.

You can relive all of Rip’s highs and lows in Yellowstone’s second season on the extra-packed DVD/Blu-ray set, which is out now. Of course, there is even more drama to come in Season 3 and you can bet Rip will be involved in it! As for his portrayer, Cole Hauser’s career outside of playing Rip has spanned a lot of different characters.

For instance, in 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, Cole Hauser gave a memorable performance as villain Carter Verone. While in the 2018 movie Acts of Violence, he played the heroic lead opposite Bruce Willis. Given his career, how has Cole Hauser’s approach to Rip on Yellowstone been different than his previous characters? Promoting Season 2's DVD/Blu-ray release, Hauser told me:

Well, I approach everything kind of the same. I'm somebody that when I like something and then poke around and start kind of digging into this character. There’s a physicality to Rip, and obviously there’s part of him that’s an amazing horseman. So, working on the roping, the reining, and cutting, and as you start to do all of those things, you start to really kind of find who this guy is.

Cole Hauser has definitely found Rip Wheeler! Based on what he is saying, getting to do the stuff that Rip does on Yellowstone has been a part of his journey finding Rip. You can hear more from Hauser and his co-stars’ discussing their characters on Yellowstone Season 2’s three-disc DVD/Blu-ray set.

There is another angle to Cole Hauser’s approach to his Yellowstone character, and that is getting in some quality time with Yellowstone’s co-creator, Taylor Sheridan. In discussing that, Hauser also teased that the hit drama is not going to start backing down on where it takes Rip in Season 3. Continuing in discussing his approach to the character, Hauser told me:

So, it starts with that, and also like I told you, sitting with Taylor [Sheridan, Yellowstone’s co-creator] and spending the time that I've spent with him over the last 3 years now. We keep kind of taking risks with him, and you see that in Season 3, which we just finished. Obviously, you’ve seen Season 2, and I think that will just continue. We both love this character dearly, and I think it's always wonderful to work with somebody who is as passionate as you are about something.

It certainly is! As a viewer, I think you can see the thought and feeling that has been put into crafting each character. On that note, I wonder what risks Yellowstone is going to have Rip take in Season 3. He has been a loyal and devoted supporter of the Duttons.

Will he do something to try to keep John Dutton from having to sell part of the ranch? It would not be the first time that Rip has taken action on the Duttons’ behalf. As you can tell from re-watching Yellowstone Season 2 on DVD/Blu-ray, he has always come through for them.

I am curious if Yellowstone might have Rip do something else that tests the audience’s feelings about him. That would be a risk too! Yellowstone’s creator had teased some eventful developments happening with the characters in Season 3.

In doing so, Taylor Sheridan hinted at viewers learning some things about its various players. Time will tell what these risks will include for Rip. I could see him landing in some hot water, trying to help John, but we will see. Fans anxious for the return of Yellowstone Season 3 have a lot to consider.

Cole Hauser has teased what is in store for Rip and Beth. As well as Rip’s relationship with Beth and Jamie in Season 3, which is a complicated dynamic if ever there was one. Mysterious seeds of disdain will do that to a toxic brother/sister relationship. I look forward to seeing what Yellowstone has coming up for Rip!

You can check out Cole Hauser’s performance as Rip in Season 2 of Yellowstone Season 2, now on DVD and Blu-ray. A premiere date for Yellowstone Season 3 has not gotten set yet by Paramount Network. While you wait for the series’ return, you can check out this winter’s premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.