Yellowstone star didn’t understand why women loved his character

Jessica Cullen
Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, and Kevin Costner as Rip, Kayce, and John Dutton on Yellowstone

One of the most vicious Yellowstone characters is also the most beloved, and the star who plays him couldn’t quite understand the female attraction.

Not many Yellowstone characters could be considered “lovable”, but fans of the Taylor Sheridan show do have their favorites. From the moment Rip Wheeler stormed his way onto the screen, proving his love and loyalty for the Duttons by killing on command, viewers found someone to root for.

Yes, he’s a hitman for hire with a heart of gold. He’s the epitome of a branded hand, spending the rest of his life living up to his end of the bargain with John Dutton. It’s not surprising that Rip would be an appealing role for any actor, but what Yellowstone cast member Cole Hauser did find shocking was the amount of female fans the character has.

Talking to People, Hauser admitted that he didn’t really understand the love for Rip at first, particularly coming from women. In fact, he thought it was completely out of line.

“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 said.

However, upon thought, he does get it a little. He added that as Yellowstone has “grown [in popularity], I see the bad boy kind of thing that they love.”

The “bad boy” element of Yellowstone is most likely one of the reasons that the Western show finds a female audience in the first place. With Rip being one of the most machismo characters on the Dutton Ranch, and serving as the doting love interest (and later husband) for Beth, it’s understandable why he’d attract a certain fanbase.

But there’s other things to love about Rip, and Hauser knows it.

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

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

For more, take a look at our guide to Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2, and check out all the best Yellowstone episodes.

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About The Author

Jessica Cullen is a TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's previously written for The Digital Fix, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, Slate and more. Aside from being the residential Yellowstone expert, she also loves Westerns, '90s action movies, and true crime. You can email her here: