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You may not know Hollywood actor Wes Bentley by name, but you’ve probably seen him in something.

He rocked a crazy beard as Seneca Crane in “The Hunger Games,” he recently starred in the latest season of “American Horror Story” and, when he was just 21 years old, he played Ricky Fitts in the Oscar-winning film “American Beauty.”

For Wes, that role opened the door to fame and opportunity, but with it came a long spiral into the worst parts of Hollywood: alcohol, drugs and addiction.

In an interview with The New York Times from 2010, Wes opened up about his seven-year-long heroin addiction.

Since then, however, he rebuilt his acting career significantly. Now, he stars alongside Christian Bale in Terrence Malick’s new experimental drama, “Knight of Cups,” which hits theaters March 4.

The seventh film from experimental writer and director Terrence Malick, “Knight of Cups” explores the darker side of Hollywood life. The main character, Rick, played by Christian Bale, is a screenwriter who gets lost in the indulgent worlds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Throughout the film, Rick floats through the relationships in his life in a dazed, dreamlike state.

The familiarity of Rick’s story did not go unnoticed by Wes, who I spoke to recently about how his history of losing himself in Hollywood affected his performance and response to the film.

On how the film mirrored his own trajectory after moving from his hometown in Arkansas to LA for “American Beauty,” he said,

I had a lot of personal feeling come up watching it. I came out to LA and I was just going to shoot ‘American Beauty’ and go back. But I just stayed. And stayed and stayed.  And slowly I just sort of like… entered this haze.  I forgot who I was and where I came from. I got lost in all of the distraction, the excesses, the parties, the people. I identified with Rick being lost and trying to wake up, and people trying to help wake him up, or take him deeper down the path.

Wes said his connection with Christian Bale’s character helped him tap into the character he played — Rick’s brother Barry. Continue reading “Wes Bentley Talks His ‘Knight of Cups’ Role And His Struggle With Addiction” »