After three seasons of Yellowstone's blood-boiling drama surrounding the Dutton family ranch, it's next to impossible to imagine these characters being played by anyone other than the actors who originated the roles. But noted sexy-man Cole Hauser gave fans of the Paramount Network drama some food for thought by sharing the notion that he wasn't specifically tied to the role of Rip Wheeler, and could have possibly ended up as a member of the Dutton family had things worked out differently. Can you IMAGINE?
It might sound like I'm being sarcastically hyperbolic, but I assure you of my 100% sincerity. The only other actor that could feasibly play Rip Wheeler beyond Cole Hauser is whatever comes out of the Brundle-Fly machine after Timothy Olyphant and Jeffrey Dean Morgan go into it. In any case, Hauser appeared on The Ryen Russillo Podcast and shared the story of how Yellowstone landed on his lap, and how his representation was initially incredulous about the actor's desire to play Rip.
Not to repeat myself, but can you IMAGINE if Cole Hauser had been limited to playing Lee Dutton, gracing our screens for all of 15 minutes? I also can't picture him as Jamie, since Wes Bentley's eyes are basically synonymous with the character's browbeaten disposition. It's slightly easier to conceive Hauser in place of Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton, if only because Kayce is intrinsically the more complicated brother, and Hauser is really good at playing quiet strength. Still, though, Kayce sometimes lacks such strength, and Rip Wheeler never does. Ipso facto, Cole Hauser is perfect for it.
As well, the actor voices the key perception that Rip's success as a character can't be viewed in full unless he's looked at in respects to his complicated relationship with Kelly Reilly's Beth Dutton. Their explosive and imbalanced romance is at once singular to the strong-willed characters and then also universal to all courtships outside the confines of fairy tales.
However you look at it, the genius of Rip Wheeler boils down to co-creator Taylor Sheridan's smart writing and dialogue skills, which Cole Hauser then brings to life in all the best ways, even when it doesn't necessarily look like he's doing much at all. Speaking to Rip's layered nature (and also talking more about his connection with Beth), Hauser continued:
Cole Hauser almost definitely has a point in his assessment that Rip Wheeler might have been looked at as a lesser character to others, simply because he wasn't part of the Dutton family, or because he doesn't showcase a fly-off-the-handle impulsiveness like Beth or Jimmy. Thankfully for Yellowstone fans, Rip doesn't need to do any of that to clue audiences into why the character is worthy of our time, or why you shouldn't piss him off by staying up all night drinking when you know the damned rodeo is the next day.
Join me in silently wishing for some big news to break for Yellowstone Season 4 while we stream earlier episodes for the umpteenth time, or for there to at least be some casting news for one of the upcoming spinoffs. Or for Beth to get her own spinoff, because if you're gonna dream, dream Beth-big.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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