Taylor Sheridan knew he had found one of his key pieces to Yellowstonewhen he brought Cole Hauser on set to play the feared head wrangler, and right hand man of John Dutton (Kevin Costner) Rip Wheeler.
However, little did we know that when Hauser began filming for the show, he was going through a really bad back injury.
He recalled the back injury, which occurred on set while filming the wrestling drama The Last Champion, in an interview with Men’s Journal.
Hauser plays ex-Olympian John Wright in the film, who is forced to face his disgraced past as he returns home after his mother dies, except his hometown still hates him for all the things he did before he left.
Although it was released in 2020, it was filmed before the first season of Yellowstone, before Hauser had even joined the cast.
In fact, he was originally unsure if he could even go on with his role in Yellowstone, due to a broken back, which he sustained on set. And here’s the kicker, he hurt himself falling off a horse, breaking his back.
Oh, the irony…
However, riding horses again at Taylor Sheridan’s infamous “Cowboy Camp” actually proved to be therapeutic for the actor, saying:
“F*ck it, you just gotta get back on the horse and do it.”
After persevering through the pain, he was able to recover from his injury and go on with filming.
“My back was so bad I couldn’t move around very well, and so I lost strength in my stomach. What riding ended up doing is strengthening my back and my core.”
Hauser himself actually grew up riding, but he still felt like he was starting from the ground up when he took the role.
To play the part of Rip Wheeler, a longtime cowboy by trade, he spent hours training with a horse and rope, and said the exercise and experience was all he needed to get over his brutal injury.
Even though Hauser has been riding consistently for a few years now, he admitted that he still wakes up in pain the next day on the first day of filming.
Hard to imagine Yellowstone without Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler, but that was almost the case.
Cole Hauser Wants Five More Years With Kelly Reilly
I think everybody can agree that the success Yellowstone has achieved over the years is pretty astonishing.
Season after season, they continue to push the show to new heights, and now, we through fourth season averaging 14 million viewers, (15 million for the Season Finale).
“As far as Kelly and I and our relationship, not only on screen but off screen, I feel like (and I hope you feel the same) but I just feel free with her to do whatever we want to do as creative souls and I’m blessed to have met her four years ago and to be able to create these two characters together
When you go to set every day and just totally open your heart and allow you to play at the highest level because she’s coming to play and we meet in the middle and make the best of what this scene can be.
And that to me is what I’ve always dreamed of as an actor… I want to do another five years, at least.”
I love Rip and Beth as much as the next guy, but unfortunately, I don’t think it’s gonna go that far…