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Yellowstone star Cole Hauser is unrecognizable in rare family photo as he celebrates special milestone

The actor was pictured alongside his son Ryland Hauser

Cynthia and Cole Hauser holding hands in Montana
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Cole Hauser is celebrating a special milestone! Taking to Instagram on Wednesday, the Yellowstone star reshared the sweetest throwback photo, which saw the actor holding his adorable son, Ryland. The never-before-seen snap, which was originally posted by Cole's wife Cynthia, had been shared to commemorate Ryland's 19th birthday. 

WATCH: Everything you need to know about the cast of Yellowstone

Revealing his close bond with his eldest, Cole couldn't have looked happier as he posed with his son, then a tiny tot, and his wife Cynthia. The couple, who have been together for 22 years, are also proud parents to son Colt, 14, and daughter Steely, 10. 

Cole reshared the sweetest throwback photo of his son Ryland © Instagram
Cole reshared the sweetest throwback photo of his son Ryland

Seen sporting his auburn curls in the picture, fans might be surprised by how different Cole looks, especially compared to his Yellowstone character, Rip Wheeler. Cole has previously spoken about the intense transformation that he's undergone for Yellowstone and in an interview with Jenny McCarthy, he opened up about the real reason he dyes his hair, which is naturally red. 

Revealing that the show's creator, Taylor Sheridan, had suggested he dye it to avoid looking too similar to his on-screen love interest Kelly Reilly, Cole explained: "When I first got the role, as you know Kelly's a ginger and I'm ginger as well. So we looked like we were brother and sister! So we kind of had to make sure that wouldn't be the case." 

He added: "I've dyed it for other stuff that I've done. They liked that look, and it's kind of a harder look. Your eyes pop a little bit more."

Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler in Yellowstone and Kelly Reilly as Beth© Instagram
Cole as Rip Wheeler in Yellowstone

Back in June 2022, Cole also opened up about altering his weight for the role of Rip. "Ultimately, when I walk around, I'm about 210 [pounds]," he told Express. "I put on, sometimes, about 20 pounds just to fill him out. And get a little bit more [expletive] and legs on him, you know!"

While Cole would typically have returned to set by now, the TV star is currently on hiatus due the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes. Few updates on production have been revealed, although the last known one came from Kayce Dutton in July. 

Luke Grimes' appears on Today Show© NBC
Back in July, Like Grimes confirmed that filming for Yellowstone had been delayed

Speaking to PEOPLE Magazine, he explained: "We have not [started filming the second half of season 5] because of the writers' strike. I think we would be if it weren't for that. But that takes precedence over everything. They've got to get that all sorted, and then we'll be getting after it."  

Why are actors going on strike?

SAG-AFTRA member voted to strike on July 13 2023. 

In 2022 it was reported that the average hourly pay for a California actor was $27.73 per hour. But many working actors do not work Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm jobs, and 86% of the 160,000 strong guild do not make more than $25,950 in covered earnings (money that contributes towards social security) per year, and therefore do not qualify for healthcare insurance.

Actors also receive financial compensations when their TV shows are syndicated, rerun, have a DVD release or enjoy a move to streaming services. The calculation is complex and can change depending on initial contract, length of time an actor has had guild membership, and the type of production. As an example the Friends cast – Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry – receive 2% of the syndication revenue for their hit WB show, meaning their annually bring in around $20million each. But as streaming services such as Netflix continue to refuse to share ratings, it makes it unclear how often content is played and it lowers an actor's residual calculation. 

The SAG and Writers Guild of America members are also both fighting AMPTP over protections for their work against Artificial Intelligence, and fears that technology would replace humans.

The labor action has also stalled production on the second season of the prequel series 1923 as well as the development of the upcoming Yellowstone spin-off starring Matthew McConaughey. 

Cole and Cynthia Hauser with their three kids© Instagram
Cole has been spending the summer with his family

In the meantime, however, Cole has made the most of his time away from the show by launching his very own coffee company, Free Rein, as well as spending the summer with his family. 

Even before the strikes put everything on hold, the future of the original Yellowstone series had been in doubt for months — thanks to the premature departure of headlining star Kevin Costner, who had been eager to move on to other projects and has also been dealing with a contentious divorce from wife Christine Baumgarten. Fans last saw a brand-new episode of the Paramount+ series way back in November 2022, which was considered the mid-season finale of season five. Filming for the second half of season five, which would mark the end of the show, never got underway due to the strikes. But the fate of Kevin's protagonist, Montana rancher John Dutton, was up in the air. Series creator Taylor Sheridan, who has reportedly been feuding with Kevin, hinted that it's possible Kevin's character might be killed off. 

“Whether [Dutton’s fate] inflates [Costner’s] ego or insults is collateral damage that I don’t factor in with regard to storytelling," Taylor said, insisting any potential character death will not be tied to his disagreements with Kevin.

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