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Yellowstone's Cole Hauser Put On 20 Pounds For His Role As Rip

Cole Hauser was no stranger to action or preparing physically for roles before "Yellowstone." The actor had carved out a filmography highlighted by action romps like "2 Fast 2 Furious," "Paparazzi," and "Tears of the Sun" before he saddled up for Taylor Sheridan's Western (via IMDb).

Even fans who had seen Hauser throw punches and run around on the silver screen were likely a little shocked by his appearance in "Yellowstone." The actor took his role as a rancher to heart, bulking up to look like a man who spends his days roping cattle and his nights knocking back his fair share of domestic beer.

Hauser portrays Rip Wheeler, arguably the most trusted ally of John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and the Yellowstone Ranch. Wheeler is introduced as Dutton's go-to man for running his ranch and painting outside the law's lines. Throughout the show, however, Wheeler becomes a much more integral part of the Dutton family, eventually marrying Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly).

According to Hauser, he completely transformed himself for the role of Wheeler. He packed on an extra 20 pounds to properly portray the cowboy, a man whose actual rule about fighting on Yellowstone Ranch is as follows: It's allowed, just so long as you fight him.

Cole Hauser wanted to be bigger than everyone else

Cole Hauser said his goal with the look of Rip Wheeler was simple: he wanted to be bigger than everyone else on "Yellowstone." The actor explained in a 2022 interview with Awards Daily that the bulky look of Wheeler is based on the fact that his physique comes through the sheer labor of his work, rather than a set routine at his local gym.

"I wanted to be bigger than everybody, but it also makes sense to be country strong. He's not going to a gym. He's lifting bales of hay and working, so he's not skinny and muscular. He's just a big country strong looking guy. So I put on twenty pounds and most of it, I won't lie, was weight. It wasn't tonal muscle," the actor said.

Hauser added that the weight he packed on was based on the sort of heavy diet of meat and potatoes a guy like Wheeler would have regularly.

The preparation is working out for Hauser. The actor was named one of People's Sexiest Men Alive in 2020 (per Instagram). After making the list, Hauser, who is 6”1, revealed he pushes himself up to 225 pounds to capture Wheeler's physically imposing look (via Outsider).