Wes Bentley



*Wes Bentley
(38 years old)

4 September 1978
Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA
5' 11" (1,8 m)



Wesley Cook Bentley was born September 4, 1978, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to David and Cherie Bentley, two Methodist ministers. Wes joined older brothers Jamey and Philip, and was later joined by younger brother, Patrick. Wes attended Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas, where he was in the drama club. Interest in acting came from Improv Comedy. He, his brother Patrick, his best friend Damien Bunting and other close friend Josh Cowdery developed an Improv group called B(3) + C. They regularly dominated competitions in Arkansas. He then placed First in the state of Arkansas in solo acting in 1996, his senior year of high school, Second in Duet, and also regularly won for Poetry and Prose Readings.

Wes appeared on-stage quite a bit in Little Rock. At The Weekend Theater, Wes played the straight son of the gay couple in a production of La Cage aux Folles. At Murry's Dinner Playhouse, Wes' plays included Oliver. At his mother's urging, Wes attended Juilliard School in New York after high school graduation. He was there only a short time but appeared in stage work like Henry IV, Part 1 and The Weavers. Wes then worked at Blockbuster and was a waiter at TGI Friday's on Long Island. Wes has stated that his most prideful venture in life was starting a soccer team from scratch at his high school and subsequently putting together a full Conference, one of Arkansas's first. Wes had no real experience in soccer before doing this.

Bentley made his onscreen debut in Jonathan Demme's Beloved (1998). Following his success in American Beauty, Bentley struggled with substance abuse, which cost him his first marriage, to actress Jennifer Quanz. Although he continued to land parts in films, including that of the primary antagonist in Ghost Rider. El motorista fantasma (2007) and another major role in El partido de sus vidas (2005), Bentley has publicly admitted that during most of the 2000s he only took on acting roles to earn enough money to buy drugs. Bentley did not enter a 12-step program until 2009. He has stated that he considers his sobriety to be an ongoing process.

Bentley is one of the main subjects featured in the documentary My Big Break (2009), which followed him and former roommates Chad Lindberg, Brad Rowe and Greg Fawcettas they struggle to find success within the film industry. In 2010, Bentley made his professional stage debut with Nina Arianda in David Ives's award-winning play "Venus In Fur."

Bentley has one child with his second wife, producer Jacqui Swedberg. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous




Spouse*

Jacqui Swedberg (2010 - present) (2 children)

Jennifer Quanz (25 September 2001 - 2010) (divorced)




Trivia*


Attended Sylvan Hills high school in Sherwood, Arkansas.


Both of his parents are United Methodist ministers.

Attended The Juilliard School in New York City.

Previously shared a home in L.A. with Brad Rowe and Chad Lindberg.

Brother was a youth minister in Topeka, Kansas.

Cast as Sonny in Monster's Ball (2001) before dropping out and being replaced by Heath Ledger.

Cast as Lestat in La reina de los condenados (2002) before dropping out and being replaced by Stuart Townsend.

While filming Three Below Zero (1998), the director Simon Aeby forbid Bentley from skateboarding to the set in New York City because he was the principle talent and needed to be on set every day of filming. But Bentley ignored the director's advice and continued to arrive each day via skateboard.

Was considered for the role of Danny Walker in Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor (2001).

Attended the same high school as actor Russell Taylor, in Mountain Home, Arkansas, before Bentley transfered to high school in Sherwood, Arkansas before his junior year.

Grew up in Mountain Home, Arkanas where he played the drums at his local junior high school. During sophomore year at school he moved to Sherwood, Arkanas. He then attended Sylvan Hills high school, from his sophomore to senior year.

Was discovered at an open cattle call for the film "Rent". A casting director spotted him, and asked him to read for his film. Seven call backs later he was given the role, but the movie was never made.

Loves playing soccer in his spare time.

The third of four sons, which included older brothers Jamey and Philip and younger brother Patrick Bentley.

In 2010, told The New York Times that he spent most of the 2000s seriously addicted to drugs including cocaine and heroin, and that he only took the few acting roles that he did so that he would have money to buy drugs.

Stated in an interview on the DVD of EncontrarĂ¡s dragones (2011) that his sobriety was inspired during filming by someone else on the set who had been sober for two years. He stopped drinking and doing drugs during filming, with this person's help, and experienced a whole spiritual renewal in his life. He has been sober ever since.




Personal Quotes*

[on wishing he had heard a story like his own in his early 20s] - This would have helped me, at least, if someone would have made me realize that you don't need to do drugs to be artistic and express yourself. If you want to be artistic, if you want to be creative, if you want to express yourself, you can't let things get in your way, and drugs are included in that.


[on hitting rock bottom with being a drug and alcohol addict in 2009] - I had come back to L.A. for something, and I drank a whole bottle of Scotch, and I thought to myself, 'I'm going to die in this hotel room with this bottle of Scotch. It was after that I told a friend for the first time: 'I'm a drug addict, and an alcoholic, and I need help. I need help or I'm going to die.'

[on what happened after American Beauty (1999)] - I wanted fame, but I thought it would be incremental, and I became afraid of the overnight-sensation thing. I started walking into rooms, and everyone would look at me, and I would freeze up. People kept saying, "You have to find your next movie" and that didn't make life any better.

(2012, on his sobriety) I'm now at two and a half years sober. A little over two and half years. I can't believe it. I can't believe that I'm alive, much less than I'm able to do the things I'm able to do just on a daily basis. Back then I was stuck. I literally physically couldn't move before and now I have a 14 month old son and I'm back in the sunlight... It helps to be sober and be in this world. Not just sober meaning not drinking and doing drugs, but my mind is sober. I'm clear about my life now. I actually really want to be a part of great projects like this and I actually enjoy the promotion aspects of it now. I've found out I do like that stuff.

(2012, on his former drug & alcohol addiction) I was risking everything to get drugs. I was driving around with homeless guys and people just out of prison, then I'd hit the streets and smoke all day. I'd already nodded off on set a couple times, and now I was being asked to leave auditions mid-reading because it was just so sad for them. I missed my brother's wedding because I was so messed up... The shakes, hearing voices, paranoia - those were daily occurrences for me. I was nearly dead, and I didn't care.

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