Wes Bentley Heroin Abuse: Hunger Games Actor Opens Up About Past Addiction

Celebrity News Aug. 1, 2013 AT 6:25PM
Wes Bentley on June 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Wes Bentley opens up to The Hollywood Reporter about his past heroin addiction. Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Wes Bentley has overcome the odds. The Hunger Games actor -- who first broke out in Hollywood starring in 1999's American Beauty -- has had his ups and downs, but is now ready to share more about past struggle with heroin addiction. 

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Opening up to The Hollywood Reporter, Bentley, 34, admits that he put his career second as he fought his demons. "I put up such a wall that I didn't even go and meet with these great directors whom I respected and admired so much," he says. "I wasn't bringing my A game to any of them. I don't know if I was bringing my B game. I just kind of didn't care and [was] coasting." 

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Bentley's past addiction and setback in Hollywood isn't completely new to the public. The former best friend of the late Heath Ledger continued using after filming American Beauty, became in debt with the IRS, and his hardships later ended his marriage to actress Jennifer Quanz in 2009. He admitted that he chose the wrong path to escape expectations, and the addiction "happened in a matter of days." 

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Not all stars, of course, have been as lucky. Glee star Cory Monteith ultimately lost his battle with heroin abuse at age 31 last month from "a mixed drug toxicity" consisting of heroin and alcohol.

But luckily, the Arkansas native has since turned his life around. Bentley is currently four years sober after entering a 12-step program in 2009. He remarried in 2010 to producer Jacqui Swedberg, and the couple now have a 2 1/2- year-old son together.

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He's also landed major roles in the industry. Besides playing Seneca Crane in the first Hunger Games film, he can next be found starring in Ryan Murphy's HBO pilot Open and working alongside director Terrence Malick and Christian Bale in Knight of Cups.

"I've been given this second chance, and I'm going to do everything I can with it."

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