There's a reason everyone keeps talking about the hit Paramount network show Yellowstone. It's that good. And it brought Kevin Costner to our TV every week, which is definitely exciting. But the show as a whole wouldn't be the same without its incredible cast including the sometimes difficult to love character Jamie Dutton, played by Wes Bentley.
Wesley Cook Bentley was born in Jonesboro but grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. Though he attended the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City studying drama, he was only there for one year before he dropped out to fully focus on his acting career. And he pretty much immediately started booking roles in feature films, including Oprah Winfrey's Beloved, and the Oscar-winner, American Beauty.
Bentley went on to star in Lovelace, 3 Nights in the Desert, The Game of Their Lives, The Four Feathers, Ghost Rider, Jonah Hex, and The Hunger Games as gamemaker Seneca Crane. He also appeared in the live adaptation of the Disney film Pete's Dragon as well as Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Outside of feature films, Bentley also has plenty of TV experience. He spent years joining Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story family appearing in three different seasons -- American Horror Story: Freak Show, American Horror Story: Hotel, and American Horror Story: Roanoke.
Unfortunately for Bentley, making it in Hollywood at a young age led to personal struggles with substance abuse. Like his best friend and former co-star Heath Ledger, Bentley started heavily using drugs as a way to cope with the intense expectations people had for him in the industry. At one time he was using drugs full time, which led to the end of his first marriage with actress Jennifer Quanz.
But the actor pulled through. Though he didn't ever go to rehab since he was low on extra cash at the time, attending regular meetings with his 12 step program did the trick. Bentley's career came back better than ever with a supporting role in the Christopher Nolan film Interstellar. The 2009 documentary My Big Break even features Bentley discussing his early fame from playing Ricky Fitts in the film American Beauty and his drug and alcohol abuse.
In 2010, Bentley married producer Jacqui Swedberg and they have welcomed two children together, a daughter named Brooklyn and a son named Charles. He's stayed clean and sober ever since he decided to turn his life around.
Since 2018, Bentley has been playing Jamie Dutton on the hit TV show Yellowstone opposite his onscreen siblings played by Luke Grimes and Kelly Reilly. On the show, Jamie struggles with his relationship with his sister Beth which has been sometimes tough for viewers to watch. In an interview with Screenrant, Bentley explained some of the difficulty that is involved with playing Jamie on the show.
"I think for Jamie, there's a lot of conflict in him with his family and trying to find his place. His loyalties continue to be tested...and he continues to look for himself. It seems to be a lifelong search, but it never can be a search without something dramatic happening."
As season 4 approaches, it seems Jamie will emerge in the new season as an actual villain after years of butting heads with his siblings on the Dutton Ranch. Warning, spoilers ahead!
In season 3, Jamie discovered he was not only adopted but met his real father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton). Between working with conniving hedge fund manager Roarke Carter (Josh Holloway) and telling Rip (Cole Hauser) not to call him anymore in the season finale, it seems like a dark storyline is coming for Jamie. It seems like he's finally being true to his instincts to put himself first over his adopted family and we're definitely excited to see what that means for the future of the Dutton family.
This article was originally published in June, 2020.