Yellowstone's Cole Hauser Talks Keeping His Body In Shape To Play Rip Wheeler

Yellowstone Cole Hauser Rip Wheeler Paramount Network

Attention, new viewers! Spoilers for Yellowstone Season 1 – 3 are discussed below.

Yellowstone is not a show for the weary. For its cast, it means staying in shape, and no one knows that better than Cole Hauser, who plays Rip Wheeler on the Paramount Network hit. The role sees Hauser riding horses, along with a lot of other intense cowboy activity, including facing off with a bear. Hauser is opening up about keeping his body in shape to play the fan-favorite role.

As Rip, Cole Hauser has played a lot of stunning scenarios. When Rip is not busy warding off biker gangs, he is trying to “live his best life” like a cowboy, Beth Dutton’s true love, and the defender of John Dutton's much-warred-for ranch. How does Hauser feel about keeping his body in shape as one of Yellowstone’s bright stars? Hauser opened up in People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue, telling the outlet:

I’m about 225 [lbs] when I play him [Rip]. Horseback riding, as you know, at a very high level, is a hell of a workout for core and back and legs, and you name it. Riding and roping and cutting and doing the different disciplines that we do on the show, it’ll keep you in shape. But that first, kind of, initial when you come back to work on the show, you’re sore for a week. And then you, kind of, power through that like anything. So, I’ve stayed in great shape. And you know, it’s one of those things that as you get older you, kind of, have to. I’m 45 now. So, it’s one of those things where if you don’t, you’re going to pay for it. Usually your back will go out or something.

For the issue, Cole Hauser got into Yellowstone’s infamous water trough. Yes, the same one that Beth got into in Season 1 when it was all filled up and she was armed with a bottle of something alcoholic for a cutting monologue, with Rip insisting that she get out. I love it when things on TV come full circle. Rip and Beth have come a long way since then (they are engaged!), and so has Hauser’s body.

It sounds like he's been through a lot, and Cole Hauser had previously explained the ways he'd gotten ready to play Rip. At the time, Hauser mentioned working on all of the things that helped keep him in top cowboy form, with those activities including roping and cutting. So, he prepared with all of the things that comprise the life of someone in Rip's profession. And, in his character's case, that also includes staying in shape to physically fight potential threats.

Rip has had his share of fights. Thankfully, one of his brawls has not included fighting for his life circa Season 3. Rip survived the seemingly-lethal Season 3 finale, so Hauser will continue getting a workout in Season 4. Fans who have seen Cole Hauser in action as Rip know part of that workout will undoubtedly include retribution for the shocking events of last season’s final episode.

No one messes with the Duttons and gets away with it when Rip is around. While the Duttons may not be in fighting shape, they will need Rip to be as they recover from that three-way attempt on their lives. I tip my cowgirl hat to Cole Hauser for staying in shape, although even he admits that those first days back on the set of Yellowstone are physically brutal.

Getting up on the horse is never easy. As someone who's done it, I can attest to the fact that it looks easier than it is on the body. Season 4 is currently expected to premiere during an undisclosed date in 2021 after the winter/spring schedule airs. Every Rip scene (aka, all three seasons) of Yellowstone are now streaming on NBC Universal’s Peacock.

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.