Wes Bentley

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Wes Bentley
Born Wesley Cook Bentley
(1978-09-04) September 4, 1978 (age 36)
Jonesboro, Arkansas, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Jennifer Quanz (2001–2009)
Jacqui Swedberg (2010-present; 1 child)

Wesley Cook "Wes" Bentley (born September 4, 1978)[1] is an American film actor known for his roles as Ricky Fitts in American Beauty (1999) and Seneca Crane in The Hunger Games (2012).

Bentley was one of four subjects in the documentary My Big Break (2009), which covered his fame after American Beauty and struggles with substance abuse. Rebuilding his career, he starred in the premier of Venus in Fur by David Ives in the off-Broadway production in 2010, whose run was extended.

Early life and education[edit]

Bentley was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, the son of Cherie Baker and David Bentley. His father is a minister and his mother is a chaplain and ordained elder in the Arkansas Conference, both in the United Methodist denomination.[1][2][3] In 1996, he graduated from Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas.[4] Bentley attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division (Group 29: 1996–2000)[5] but left the school after one year to pursue his acting career.[6]

Career[edit]

Bentley has starred in several films, including the Oscar-winning film American Beauty, The Four Feathers, P2, and Ghost Rider. He starred in the thriller Dolan's Cadillac,[7] based on the short story by Stephen King,[8] and There Be Dragons by director Roland Joffé. Bentley is one of the main subjects in the documentary My Big Break, directed by Tony Zierra, which follows Bentley and three of his former roommates, Chad Lindberg, Brad Rowe and Greg Fawcett, as they pursue their dream to become successful actors in Hollywood.

In the 2007 film Ghost Rider, Bentley played Blackheart, a demonic being that was the main antagonist.

In 2010, he starred opposite Nina Arianda in the premier of the David Ives play Venus in Fur at the Classic Stage Company in New York City.[9][10][11][12]

In March 2012, Bentley had a supporting role in the blockbuster movie The Hunger Games, playing gamemaker Seneca Crane.

In 2012, Bentley also starred with Amber Tamblyn and Vincent Piazza in the indie feature 3 Nights in the Desert directed by Gabriel Cowan written by award winning playwright Adam Chanzit and produced by John Suits.[13]

In June 2013, Bentley was selected to star in Ryan Murphy's HBO production titled "Open" along with Scott Speedman.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Bentley was married to actress Jennifer Quanz from 2001 to 2009. They separated in 2009 due to his substance abuse. He married producer Jacqui Swedberg in 2010 and they have a son, Charles, born in late 2010.[15]

In a New York Times article on February 8, 2010, he described his descent into drug addiction that began almost immediately after his success in American Beauty. He said he hid his addiction from his wife; they separated in 2006, and he moved to an apartment where he began doing drugs full-time. During this time he worked sporadically, just enough to pay bills and buy drugs, and in 2008 was arrested and ordered into counseling and 12-step programs. He relapsed, however, and "continued using heroin until he was broke".[9]

In July 2009, he said, he confessed to a friend, "I’m a drug addict, and an alcoholic, and I need help. I need help or I’m going to die".[16] He again entered a 12-step program and, while clean since then, considers himself on the path to recovery.

The documentary My Big Break (2009) captures Bentley's early life as an unknown actor, his explosive career launch after American Beauty, his subsequent emotional struggle with fame, and his admission years later that he was recovering from an addiction to drugs and alcohol.[9] He began to rebuild his career by starring in the Off-Broadway premier of the play Venus in Fur by David Ives.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1995 Serendipity Lane Lonnie Short film
1998 Three Below Zero Julian Flincher
1998 Beloved Schoolteacher's Nephew
1999 American Beauty Ricky Fitts National Board of Review Award for Best Male Breakthrough Performance
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Male Performance
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
1999 White River Kid, TheThe White River Kid White River Kid
2000 Claim, TheThe Claim Donald Daglish
2001 Soul Survivors Matt
2002 Four Feathers, TheThe Four Feathers Jack Durrance
2005 Game of Their Lives, TheThe Game of Their Lives Walter Bahr
2007 Weirdsville Royce
2007 Ghost Rider Blackheart/Legion
2007 Ungodly, TheThe Ungodly Mickey Gravatski
2007 P2 Thomas
2008 Last Word, TheThe Last Word Evan
2008 Tomb, TheThe Tomb Johnathan
2009 Dolan's Cadillac Robinson
2009 Greims, TheThe Greims Donnie Greims Short film
2010 Jonah Hex Adleman Lusk
2011 Tilda Unknown Television film
2011 Rites of Passage Benny
2011 Hirokin Hirokin
2011 There Be Dragons Manolo Torres
2011 After-School Special Man Short film
2012 Underworld: Awakening Dr. Edward Vronski Uncredited
2012 Gone Peter Hood
2012 Hunger Games, TheThe Hunger Games Seneca Crane
2012 Stars in Shorts Man
2012 Time Being, TheThe Time Being Daniel
2012 Hidden Moon Victor Brighton
2013 Lovelace Thomas
2013 Pioneer Mike
2013 Cesar Chavez Jerry Cohen
2014 The Better Angels Mr. Crawford
2014 Things People Do Bill Scanlon
2014 Interstellar Doyle Post-Production
2014 Final Girl TBD Post-Production
2014 Welcome to Me TBD Post-Production
2014 Knight of Cups TBD Post-Production

Television[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2014 American Horror Story: Freak Show Edward Mordrake Upcoming

Theater[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Wes Bentley Biography (1978–)". FilmReference.com. 
  2. ^ "Wes Bentley star bio". Tribute.ca. 
  3. ^ http://www.arumc.org/n_arkansas-born_actor_reconnects_with_god_on_film_se.php
  4. ^ Bennett, Tara (March 21, 2012). "The 'Hunger Games' Cast Before They Were Famous: Wes Bentley, Senior Year at Sylvan Hills High School, Sherwood, Arkansas (1996)". Snakkle.com. Pontiac Digital Media. 
  5. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. March 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ Daly, Steve (October 8, 1999). "Wes Bentley of 'American Beauty'". People. 
  7. ^ Christian Slater and Wes Bentley Join 'Dolan's Cadillac', Cinematical, April 25, 2008
  8. ^ Stephen King's DOLAN'S CADILLAC Filming in Canada!, May 29, 2008
  9. ^ a b c Healy, Patrick (8 February 2010). "Back From the Depths, Rebuilding a Career". The New York Times. p. 1. 
  10. ^ Run Extended for ‘Venus in Fur’, Patrick Healey, Feb. 3, 2010, NY Times
  11. ^ Charles Isherwood, "One Object of Desire, Delivered", New York Times, Jan. 28, 2010
  12. ^ "Nina Arianda: A Star Is Born", Playbill
  13. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2011/11/indie-feature-3-nights-in-the-desert-gets-underway/
  14. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 13, 2013). "Wes Bentley to Star in Ryan Murphy's HBO Sexuality Drama 'Open'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  15. ^ Oliver Jones (June 13, 2011). "Wes Bentley: 'I Felt Myself Dying'". People magazine. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  16. ^ "The Hunger Games Star Wes Bentley Fights Back From Homelessness, Bankruptcy". Radar Online. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 

External links[edit]