‘Yellowstone’ star Cole Hauser was confused by women’s love for his character: ‘What’s wrong with you?’

“Yellowstone” star Cole Hauser did not expect his character to win over the hearts of the hit Western’s fans – in fact, he initially believed Rip Wheeler was “going to be so hated.”

Hauser’s role of the bad boy on the ranch began when his character, Rip, was found by John Dutton (Kevin Costner) as a child. Rip had murdered his stepfather to protect his mother, who succumbed to the abuse by her husband. John raised Rip on the ranch, and he became Yellowstone’s hit man by executing violence and murders when necessary. 

In an interview with People, Cole explained that Rip becoming a fan favorite “surprised the s— out of [creator] Taylor Sheridan and I, at first.”


What scared Hauser the most about his character was that he related to “normal people.” 

“And I think that’s what’s the scariest part,” he said, adding “he is just that kind of animal.”

Hauser believes the “bad guys” he has played throughout his career “don’t really play themselves as bad guys.”

Knowing that he was meant to portray a very cutthroat character, he was taken aback when his fans, specifically women, were infatuated with Rip Wheeler.

“At first, to see women coming up and saying, ‘Oh my God, I love your character.’ I was thinking, ‘What’s wrong with you?’” he told the outlet before noting that his perspective shifted after seeing the enchanting “bad boy kind of thing that they love.”

“What makes [Rip] special is that he has an unbelievable heart too,” Hauser said. “I mean, his loyalty is to not only the Dutton family, but to Beth [Dutton portrayed by Kelly Reilly] and his kindness, other than wanting to kill people at times, is just, to me, it’s the best of both worlds to be able to play.”

Cole noted that the emotional side of Rip Wheeler kept him invested throughout the five seasons of “Yellowstone.”

“You look for colors in characters, and Taylor, in the last five seasons, has given Rip those wonderful colors,” Hauser said.

Led by Kevin Costner, the Sheridan-created show also stars Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Kelsey Asbille and Gil Birmingham. 

“Yellowstone” aired the first half of the fifth and final season in November 2022. The second half was expected last November, but the episodes were postponed due to the Hollywood actors and writers’ strikes. The final half of the series’ final season is now slated to begin airing in November 2024.

“Yellowstone” star Ian Bohen, who portrays the ranch hand and cowboy Ryan, recently gave fans some insight about the series finale.

“The fans are going to get the [best] conclusion that could possibly be written,” Bohen told “Entertainment Tonight” ahead of “Yellowstone’s” Stagecoach pop-up event on Friday.

He continued, “Everything will land in a way that is perfectly set. A lot of shows just kind of finish… and they don’t satisfy you. This will be completed in a way that it will make sense.”

“I don’t know that any show has finished this strongly ever,” the “Teen Wolf” alum said. “We’re expecting to have the best series finale in history. Overconfident maybe, but I think that’s what it’s going to be. We thank everyone for their patience… It’ll be worth the wait, I promise.”