Social Navigation

Why did Wes Bentley want to be “the most admired drug addict of all time”? The actor opens up about that dark period


American actor Wes Bentley has opened up about the dark phase of his life when he was addicted to drugs and almost lost everything because of it. Keep reading to learn more about what the 44-year-old’s Yellowstone star has revealed about hitting rock bottom.

Wes Bentley talks about drug use and losing almost everything in life

Bentley, who rose to fame after starring in the award-winning 1999 film American Beauty, spoke to Men’s Health about his past and what he’s been through. At that time, he realized that he liked the drug also known as mushrooms and ketamine, but he didn’t stop there. “I ended up going the cocaine and heroin route. Hard drugs. Hard partying. You’re in the clubs and you’re the after parties, and there’s the cocaine, and eventually, it becomes heroin,” Bentley revealed.

Also read: Yellowstone: Will there be a season 6 amid the Kevin Costner drama? That’s all we know

He explained, “I wanted to be the most amazing drug addict ever. Which is sad. That period was incredibly dark. I did really dangerous things. I went downtown. I went and hung out with really dark people. I wasn’t trying to kill myself or Anything. It was just me: Go away. Be the guy who went above and beyond. Bentley calls this phase of his life ‘fire’ because it did him a lot of damage and it was a really tough phase in his life.

“I called it ‘the fire’ because I lost everything in the fire,” he said. “I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have clothes, I didn’t have money—I owed $400,000.” His drug addiction became so bad that Bentley set out to damage his reputation, began to fail in exams, and even appeared in high school work. Then the actor talked about meeting his wife, Jackie Swedberg. “I met a girl,” he said, “and this girl was cool and hilarious and just had the weirdest sense of humor and made me laugh and made me want to live again — like, live, not do drugs.”

Swedberg was working in film production in Saskatchewan at the time and it helped him get sober. The two got married in 2010, just a few years after they first met. The couple now has two children, twelve and eight. Bentley felt ashamed of his drug use and the behavior he resorted to under the influence, but found a way to overcome it. He said, “The way I attacked was by being positive – I’m going to talk about it to everyone and try to help others and heal that shame by doing something.”

Wes Bentley is on the work front

Bentley has been playing James Michael Dutton aka Jimmy Dutton in Paramount’s new western drama series Yellowstone since 2018. He is also known for starring in the popular horror anthology TV series. American Horror Story. Bentley recently lent his voice to the CGI animated series Blade Runner: Black Lotus.

Also read: Yellowstone: What did Kevin Costner reveal on his exit from the show? Check out the details

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.