During the first three seasons of Yellowstone, Cole Hauser has become a fan favorite thanks to his portrayal of ranch hand Rip Wheeler. His romance with Kelly Reilly’s Beth Dutton has made them one of the most popular couples on TV. As season 4 approaches, fans can’t wait to find out if they will ever get their happy ending.
As Hauser’s fan base grows, more and more people are discovering that his acting resume is quite extensive. In fact, he’s been in way more movies than fans may think.
Cole Hauser could have played one of John Dutton’s sons on ‘Yellowstone’
It’s hard for most fans to imagine anyone else playing Rip Wheeler on Yellowstone. But the actor came close to playing a completely different character. During an appearance on The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo Podcast, Hauser detailed how he landed the fan-favorite role. The actor revealed that originally his team wanted him to play one of John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) sons – Kayce, Jamie, or Lee.
“He [Yellowstone co-creator John Linson] came to me and said, ‘there’s this show, we’ve just got Kevin Costner, take a look at it and see what you think. I think you’d be great in this,” Hauser explained.
“He didn’t say any role or anything. I looked at the script, and initially, my team wanted me to position myself to play one of his sons. And I just didn’t see it.”
Rip Wheeler ‘jumped off the page’
Hauser didn’t reveal which Dutton son his team wanted him to play. But the roles of the Dutton sons eventually went to Luke Grimes (Kayce), Wes Bentley (Jamie), and Dave Annable (Lee).
As fans know, the pilot episode of Yellowstone featured Lee’s death after a battle over cattle erupted. Kayce and Jamie have remained major characters during the first three seasons. But for many fans, Rip is the star of the show. Despite the fact he had a minor role in the pilot.
“I didn’t think that there was a role that was right for me when it came to Jamie, or Lee, or Kayce,” Hauser said. “The one that jumped off the page was Rip, and they were like, ‘what are you doing? It’s two scenes in a pilot.’ I said, ‘no this character’s gonna have something really good, I can just feel it.’”
The ‘Yellowstone’ star began his career acting alongside three future Oscar winners
Many fans have just discovered Hauser through his work on Yellowstone. But he actually has an extensive acting resume that dates back three decades. According to his IMDB page, Hauser’s first credit was alongside his dad in the 1992 film Frame-Up II. That same year, Hauser appeared in School Ties with future Oscar winners Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
Hauser and Affleck also appeared together in 1994’s Dazed and Confused with future Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey. And, he went on to star in the film that won Damon and Affleck their Best Original Screenplay Oscars – Good Will Hunting.
Cole Hauser has appeared in numerous films and TV shows
Hauser’s other feature credits include Tigerland, White Oleander, Higher Learning, Tears of the Sun, A Good Day to Die Hard, Olympus Has Fallen, and Too Fast, Too Furious. He also made TV appearances in ER, Rogue, and The Lizzie Borden Chronicles.
In addition to starring in Yellowstone these past three years, Hauser made the film The Last Champion in 2020. The faith-based family film is all about second chances. Hauser plays the role of John Wright, an ex-Olympian who can’t let go of his past.
The ‘Yellowstone’ star comes from Hollywood royalty
Hauser is from Santa Barbara, California, and is the son of actor Wings Hauser and Cass Warner, the founder of the Warner Sisters film production company. Numerous members of Hauser’s family have been major players in the entertainment industry for a century.
His paternal grandfather was Hollywood golden-era screenwriter and Oscar winner Dwight Hauser. His maternal grandparents are Betty Warner and Milton Sperling, a successful producer and screenwriter in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Going back even further, Betty’s father — Hauser’s great-grandfather — was Harry M. Warner, one of the founders of Warner Bros. Studios.
Yellowstone seasons 1 through 3 are available on Peacock. Season 4 is expected to premiere on The Paramount Network in the Fall of 2021.
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