Actor Wes Bentley is the first to admit he didn’t handle fame well in his younger years.
After being thrust onto the scene in a breakout role in 1999’s American Beauty as Ricky Fitts, Bentley struggled with the attention. Not knowing how to handle it, he turned to drugs and alcohol.
Bentley recently told Reuters that he didn’t handle his first brush of fame well, and he was “already prone to vices.” His drug use spiraled into a full on addiction.
“I turned to things I thought made me feel comfortable, which were drugs and alcohol. But those weren’t the most dangerous things, it was the reclusiveness. I shut off from family and friends.”
The actor separated from his wife in 2006 and was later arrested in 2008 for heroin possession. That same year he also entered a rehabilitation program.
After working through rehab and a 12-step program, these days, he’s better known for his big-time role as Seneca Crane in the new feature smash film Hunger Games. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bentley, now 33, says he’s a little over two-and-half years sober. He says he can’t believe he’s alive, much less being able to function on a daily basis.
“Back then I was stuck,” he tells EW. “I literally physically couldn’t move before and now I have a 14-month old son and I’m back in the sunlight.”
Now that he has a second chance at acting, Bentley says he’s not going to let fame scare him; he’s not going to run from it. Now that The Hunger Games is over, he already has other projects in the works, and he could not move forward without being sober.
“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.”
Click here to read the full article in Entertainment Weekly.