Throughout its blockbuster, four-seasons-and-counting run on Paramount Network, “Yellowstone” has focused the bulk of its narrative on tales of political backstabbing, macho posturing, opportunistic land grabbing, and good old-fashioned cattle rustling. With so much hemming and hawing over the Dutton family’s ongoing and increasingly violent endeavor to hang on to their prized Montana ranching lands, one would think there just wouldn’t be much room in the action for tales of romance.
One would, of course, be wrong about that, because Taylor Sheridan and his “Yellowstone” creative team have made a better than noble effort to explore the various love lives of their central characters. At this point in the series, it would be easy enough to argue that the ongoing romance between Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) and Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) is one of the most intriguing and endearing storylines in “Yellowstone.”
It seems, however, that this was not always the plan for the beloved “Yellowstone” power couple. In a recent interview, Hauser admitted that Beth and Rip’s relationship wasn’t originally eyed as a central element in the show. He also claimed that one particularly steamy scene in the “Yellowstone” pilot episode led Sheridan to change how he envisioned the pair’s relationship.
The chemistry between his actors in the pilot forced Taylor Sheridan to change course
Hauser made these statements in a 2022 Vanity Fair piece that took an in-depth look at how Sheridan and “Yellowstone” co-creator John Linson went about assembling their ensemble cast. As it turns out, the series’ masterminds weren’t overly concerned with how the actors who played Beth and Rip got on during the casting process.
This apparently changed when they glimpsed the potent chemistry Hauser shared with Reilly during a key scene in the pilot, with Hauser claiming, “Initially there was a scene where we were having sex in her bedroom on the dresser, and she slaps me, and the way I reacted…” The actor continued, “I remember walking out of that scene and everybody was just kind of glued to the monitors … And I looked at them and they just all looked up, like, a ‘Wow, that was amazing’ kind of feeling.”
Per Hauser, this specific scene led Sheridan and company to flesh out Beth and Rip’s relationship in ways they hadn’t previously considered, as “from that point on, [Sheridan] started really penning it more and really giving us more to do and giving us more opportunity. And then also pushing us and making us take risks together.” This relationship has arguably become the heart of the entire series, and given the way the “Yellowstone” fandom clearly feels about Beth and Rip, this is unlikely to change anytime soon.