Yellowstone Bunkhouse crew pays tribute on US Memorial Day

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American star Cole Hauser is best known for portraying the ruthless Yellowstone ranch manager Rip Wheeler in Taylor Sheridan’s smash hit drama. Unfortunately for the Paramount Network regular, his intensely physical role as John Dutton’s (played by Kevin Costner) right-hand man has put his body through the wringer over the years.

Cole revealed he has sustained a number of injuries throughout his career, which have made his performance as Rip somewhat challenging.

His most severe accident occurred away from Yellowstone, as the star broke his back while filming the 2020 film The Last Champion.

Plus, several other incidents of various severity have left Cole rather battered as he reaches the fourth decade of his career.

“I’m 47 years old now, I’ve been in a ton of accidents,” he explained.

“Motorcycles, horses, I’ve crashed my back, I’ve torn my hamstrings, torn calf muscles.”

Thankfully, Cole has taken his painful experiences in his stride, and his injuries have even helped him get into character in Yellowstone’s more recent seasons.

Rip is often called upon by his boss John to take care of the ranch’s numerous rivals.

As such, the ranch hand, much like Cole himself, is in almost constant recovery from various breaks and bruises which have started to take their toll.

He told GoldDerby: “So it’s all… the walk, I put a little bit more into the brokenness of Rip versus me.

“So, essentially, I have a little bit of the limp, the back pain, or the getting up and getting down, or having to bend down to give [Beth] a kiss.

“You’ll hear my knees pop sometimes!” Cole joked.

“Those things are all very real, but I give a little bit more to them, I guess, for the character.”

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Cole also revealed he put on around 20 pounds of muscle for the role, so the actor is still in good shape to overcome his various injuries and give the best performance possible.

Moreover, it took him nearly no time at all to return to horseback riding after breaking his back on the set of The Last Champion.

“It was like the old saying, ‘F**k it, you just gotta get back on the horse and do it’,” he told BND.

“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.”

The actor and Yellowstone’s bunkhouse crew were also subjected to an intensive cowboy camp to ensure they’re a dab hand at riding and roping.

Production is currently making good headway for the highly anticipated fifth season of the drama, which will comprise a massive 16 episodes compared to the usual 10.

Moreover, Hollywood legends Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren are set to join Taylor’s Yellowstone universe in the upcoming prequel, 1923.

Yellowstone season 5 premieres Sunday, November 13 on the Paramount Network and seasons 1-3 are available to stream in the UK on Paramount+.

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