“Yellowstone” star Cole Hauser remembers the moment he realized Rip Wheeler was likable: “You blew me away!”

Cole Hauser had no idea his character Rip Wheeler in “Yellowstone” was likable until he had an unforgettable encounter with a stranger.

“When did you realize?” The actor laughed on Fox News Digital. “I think when this old lady caught B-in Whole Foods.”

“This was about four years ago,” he said. She said, ‘Are you Rip? You startled me! I said, “Holy–what are you doing?” You’re like my mom’s age.” She’s like, “I’m not giving a time out.” I was like, “Okay, fair play.”

“I told my mother about it. She said, ‘You get used to it, son,'” the 47-year-old added.

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Created by Taylor Sheridan, “Yellowstone” tells the story of a family who raise cattle in Montana as they confront others who are encroaching on their land. Cole Hauser plays Rip Wheeler.
(Paramount Network)

Hauser, who has starred in the drama since 2018, was pictured bathing outside for an issue of People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” There is no doubt that Westerns are hotter than ever in Hollywood.

After Kevin Costner’s “Yellowton” was a smash hit, Paramount + streaming service ordered the “1932” series about the Dutton ranch family’s roots. In February, the service also announced that the first version, “1883,” would be returning for a second season. Its stars include Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill.

In 2021, “The Harder They Fall” made its mark in both theaters and Netflix, while “Outer Range” can be found on Amazon. At this year’s Academy Awards, Jane Campion won Best Director for “The Power of the Dog,” which received 11 nominations. Old Henry, a Western act, was also shown late last year.

This May, British actor Tom Blythe made his mark as the legendary outlaw Billy the Kid for the new EPIX series.

Hauser pointed out that there’s a reason fans can’t get enough of Yellowstone in particular — and insisted it had nothing to do with making hearts flutter.

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Cole Hauser credited writer Taylor Sheridan for launching The Comeback West in Hollywood.

Cole Hauser credited writer Taylor Sheridan for launching The Comeback West in Hollywood.
(Basic)

“Well, first of all, it’s not West who writes Taylor Sheridan,” he explained of the director. “This starts with him and the stories he tells, the characters he developed, the actors he hired, and the crew. In my opinion, [he’s] One of America’s greatest writers, he tells the stories he knows best and cares about.”

And the story hits close to home. Hauser grew up in Santa Barbara, California and on a cattle ranch in Oregon where he spent most of his childhood riding horses and “walking around with cows,” People magazine reported. Hauser noted that he was completely comfortable with the Montana atmosphere on the show.

“Yellowstone” kind of stretch [Sheridan’s] “Love and affection for the West – and so am I,” said Hauser. [are] Fascinating stories can be told even in the modern setting of Yellowstone.”

And the show has earned one surprising fan – Drake.

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Cole Hauser and his wife Cynthia Daniel attend the 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 9, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Hauser told Fox News Digital that Drake is a fan of Yellowstone.

Cole Hauser and his wife Cynthia Daniel attend the 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 9, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. Hauser told Fox News Digital that Drake is a fan of Yellowstone.
(Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

“One of my friends sent me a picture,” Hauser recalls. “He was wearing a Yellowstone hoodie and I was like, ‘Holley, he’s a fan. Then he said, “Listen, his birthday is coming up and I think it would be really cool if I signed something for him.” I was like, sure.

Hauser sent the rapper, whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham, a pair of autographed cowboy boots. The 36-year-old proudly flaunted it on social media.

“He posted them and the rest is history,” said the father of three. “Everyone seems to figure out these things really quickly.”

Season 5 of “Yellowstone” premiered on November 13. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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