Yellowstone: Rip star was forced to make major change to character after Beth mishap

Yellowstone: Cole Hauser stars as ranch hand Rip Wheeler

The romance of Rip Wheeler (played by Cole Hauser) and Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) is often hard to watch, but it’s also one of the most rewarding character arcs in Yellowstone’s first three seasons. However, Hauser admitted the story could have seemed very different had he not made one vital change to his appearance for his role on the popular Paramount series.

Television star Cole Hauser has admitted to dying his hair to fully embody the role of rugged ranch hand Rip Wheeler in Yellowstone.

The star recalled the change when he discussed being cast for the first season on The Jenny McCarthy show.

Showrunner Taylor Sheridan realised something had to be done when Hauser was placed alongside his co-star, British actress Kelly Reilly.

Hauser told Jenny: “When I first got the role, as you know Kelly’s a ginger and I’m ginger as well.”

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“So we looked like we were brother and sister! So we kind of had to make sure that wouldn’t be the case.”

Over the first three seasons of Yellowstone, Rip and Beth have been caught up in a passionate, yet complicated on-off relationship.

The pair had been going at it since they were teenagers, but a tragic incident drove somewhat of a rift between them.

Following an attack orchestrated by the Beck brothers in season two, Rip and Beth have gone to some lengths to repair their relationship, and were engaged before the dramatic twist in the season finale.

However, had Hauser kept his natural hair colour, viewers may not have been so convinced by their fraught yet tender romance.

The star recalled: “[Taylor Sheridan said] ‘I don’t want to do it to her, but what do you think about dying your hair?’ Because I’ve dyed it for other stuff that I’ve done.

“They liked that look, and it’s kind of a harder look. Your eyes pop a little bit more.”

His darker locks certainly help cement Hauser’s on-screen persona as the ruthless and loyal manager for John Dutton (Kevin Costner) on the Yellowstone cattle ranch.

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The tough ranch hand is expected to play a major role in the upcoming fourth season, following an attack on his fiancée Beth in the devastating third season finale.

Hauser also detailed an extensive training regime to fully embody the physical presence of a seasoned cattle rancher.

He continued: “For the physicality, I just rode horses every day, all day long, until my legs were about to fall off.

“And that just gets you strong. You eat what cowboys eat, which is just rice, beans and steak.”

“And then your body ends up changing into something that it wasn’t before.”

From Rip and the bunkhouse crew’s gruelling ranch work to the perils of Jimmy Hurdstram’s (Jefferson White) barrel racing, Yellowstone has received considerable praise for its authenticity.

Thankfully, Hauser was willing to give his hair a darker shade to ensure Rip and Beth’s relationship was just as convincing as the show’s representation of modern cowboy living.

Yellowstone season 4 will air in 2021 on Paramount.


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