When it comes to Yellowstone's strongest and most durable relationships, it's hard to deny that the biggest winner of the bunch would probably be the kinship between Kevin Costner's ranch patriarch John Dutton and his endlessly loyal second-banana Rip Wheeler, played with rugged gusto by Cole Hauser. Fans will likely be happy to hear that it's not just the characters that get along, but the actors themselves are also pretty good friends at this point after filming four seasons of the highly popular western drama together.

Cole Hauser, who was recently showcased in People's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue for 2020, reflected on his bond with Kevin Costner during an interview with Fox News. As it turns out, Costner was just as keen to point out Hauser's sexiness distinction as everyone else on social media. Here's how the actor put it:

It's funny you say that because I just looked on his social media, this is just a little while ago, and it goes, 'Cole Hauser, Sexiest Man Alive' – and then he goes, ‘You son of a bitch.’ So you know, that was Kevin’s way of – I mean, we're great friends. We've worked together now four years and I love him. He's a wonderful person – more importantly – a person than an actor. I just enjoy being around him and enjoying each other's company. So he's been somebody I've always looked up to creatively. And that's been an honor working with him.

After having been showcased in various miniseries over the years, Kevin Costner finally took on his first leading-man role in a TV show for Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone, and he was obviously already a living legend by the time that happened. But while each of the actors that play John Dutton's children all face awkward and tense scenes with Costner on the show, Cole Hauser's Rip is usually the only character that John treats with consistent respect. (Granted, John asks Rip to take on some pretty messed up duties, but at least he's cordial about it.) And it sounds like that relationship carried over into real life as well.

For the Sexiest Man Alive issue, Cole Hauser is featured shirtless and bathing within one of the big water troughs that can be seen scattered around Yellowstone's ranch sets. (You know, like the one that the drunkenly nude Beth took a dip in during Season 1.) I can only imagine how impossible it would have been for Kevin Costner to see his co-star all wet and glistening for the magazine and then not immediately give Hauser a bit of ribbing for it. Costner himself was definitely part of the Sexiest Man Alive crowd during his career, though never making the cover of the issue. This would be a good time for Hauser to invest in issues of People from the early 1990s, around the time Dances with Wolves was garnering mass acclaim.

It's possible that Cole Hauser and Kevin Costner built up an even closer relationship while filming Yellowstone Season 4, since the pandemic forced the cast and crew to basically spend almost the entire shoot locked down together, without the ability to fly back and forth from the Montana sets. (The show changed filming locations from Utah for Season 4.) It's presumed that all the main stars are back home and comfortable now that Season 4 is finished filming, though. Jefferson White is already praising the upcoming episodes as "the best season yet," which should have viewers pumped to see how Taylor Sheridan and his creative team follow up on all the big cliffhangers in the Season 3 finale.

Currently in its between-season hiatus, Yellowstone will return to Paramount Network for Season 4 at some point in 2021, presumably during the summer months when Cole Hauser bathing in a water trough just makes sense. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more release date information, and check out our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2021 TV guide to see what new and returning shows are on the way soon.

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