Cole Hauser’s portrayal of Rip Wheeler in “Yellowstone” has become synonymous with the show’s success. The character, embodying loyalty, ruggedness, and occasional violence, has unexpectedly transformed Hauser into an unlikely sex symbol, much to the surprise of both Hauser and the show’s creator, Taylor Sheridan.
Reflecting on the character’s unexpected allure, Hauser mentioned that Sheridan initially anticipated Rip’s portrayal to evoke fear or apprehension due to his intense actions on the show. However, the opposite occurred, and Rip Wheeler became a beloved figure among viewers. Despite Rip’s role as a no-nonsense enforcer for the Dutton family, his dedication and protective nature endeared him to audiences.
Hauser’s performance brought a nuanced balance to Rip’s character, blending his tough exterior with moments of compassion and care. This complexity, portraying Rip as someone who could be “fixed,” akin to the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” is a significant factor in Rip’s irresistible appeal.
The show’s popularity and Rip’s status as a sex symbol have birthed a myriad of merchandise centered around the character, ranging from life-sized cardboard cutouts to various slogans and phrases adorning shirts and mugs, all celebrating Rip’s allure and charisma.
However, despite Rip’s widespread popularity, the impending season 5 part 2 of “Yellowstone” hints at potential danger for the character. With Jamie plotting against Beth Dutton, Rip’s wife, it appears that Rip might find himself entangled in a perilous situation. Given Rip’s unwavering loyalty to Beth and the Dutton family, his life could be in jeopardy in the upcoming episodes, hinting at a potentially dramatic and uncertain future for the beloved character in the series.