Wes Bentley


04 Sep 1978


Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA


Wesley Cook Bentley


Wes Bentley is an American actor who first became well-known via his role in the Oscar-winning film American Beauty (1999), in which he played the soulful, artistic next-door neighbor Ricky Fitts. He also portrayed gamemaker Seneca Crane in The Hunger Games (2012), and co-stars in Lovelace (2013) as photographer Thomas.

Wesley Cook Bentley was born September 4, 1978, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to David and Cherie Bentley, two Methodist ministers. Wes joined older brothers Jamey and Philip, and was later joined by younger brother, Patrick. Wes attended Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas, where he was in the drama club. Interest in acting came from Improv Comedy. He, his brother Patrick, his best friend Damien Bunting and other close friend Josh Cowdery developed an Improv group called B(3) + C. They regularly dominated competitions in Arkansas. He then placed First in the state of Arkansas in solo acting in 1996, his senior year of high school, Second in Duet, and also regularly won for Poetry and Prose Readings.

Wes appeared on-stage quite a bit in Little Rock. At The Weekend Theater, Wes played the straight son of the gay couple in a production of La Cage aux Folles. At Murry's Dinner Playhouse, Wes' plays included Oliver. At his mother's urging, Wes attended Juilliard School in New York after high school graduation. He was there only a short time but appeared in stage work like Henry IV, Part 1 and The Weavers. Wes then worked at Blockbuster and was a waiter at TGI Friday's on Long Island. Wes has stated that his most prideful venture in life was starting a soccer team from scratch at his high school and subsequently putting together a full Conference, one of Arkansas's first. Wes had no real experience in soccer before doing this.

Bentley made his onscreen debut in Jonathan Demme's Beloved (1998). Following his success in American Beauty, Bentley struggled with substance abuse, which cost him his first marriage, to actress Jennifer Quanz. Although he continued to land parts in films, including that of the primary antagonist in Ghost Rider (2007) and another major role in The Game of Their Lives (2005), Bentley has publicly admitted that during most of the 2000s he only took on acting roles to earn enough money to buy drugs. Bentley did not enter a 12-step program until 2009. He has stated that he considers his sobriety to be an ongoing process.

Bentley is one of the main subjects featured in the documentary My Big Break (2009), which followed him and former roommates Chad Lindberg, Brad Rowe and Greg Fawcett as they struggle to find success within the film industry. In 2010, Bentley made his professional stage debut with Nina Arianda in David Ives's award-winning play "Venus In Fur."

Bentley has one child with his second wife, producer Jacqui Swedberg.

Actor ( 52 credits )

Broken Vows (2016) Patrick
Pete's Dragon (2016) Jack
Knight of Cups (2015)
We Are Your Friends (2015)
Final Girl (2015)
Welcome to Me (2014)
Amnesiac (2014) Man
Interstellar (2014) Doyle
Cesar Chavez (2014) Jerry Cohen
After the Fall (2014) Bill Scanlon
The Better Angels (2014) Mr. Crawford
3 Nights in the Desert (2014)
Pioneer (2013) Mike
Lovelace (2013) Thomas - Photographer
Hidden Moon (2012) Victor Brighton
The Time Being (2012) Daniel
Hirokin: The Last Samurai (2012) Hirokin
Rites of Passage (2012) Benny
Stars in Shorts (2012) Man
The Hunger Games (2012) Seneca Crane
Gone (2012) Peter Hood
Underworld: Awakening (2012) Antigen Scientist (uncredited)
Larry King Now (2012)  Himself / ... (2 episodes, 2015)
There Be Dragons (2011) Manolo Torres
American Horror Story (2011)  Eddie (13 episodes, 2014-2015)
After-School Special (2011) Man
Jonah Hex (2010) Adleman Lusk
The Talk (2010)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2015)
Dolan's Cadillac (2009) Robinson
The Greims (2009) Donnie Greims
The Tomb (2009) Jonathan
My Big Break (2009) Himself
The Last Word (2008) Evan
P2 (2007) Thomas
The Ungodly (2007) Mickey Gravatski
Ghost Rider (2007) Blackheart
Weirdsville (2007) Royce
Up Close with Carrie Keagan (2007)  Himself (2 episodes, 2007-2011)
The Game of Their Lives (2005) Walter Bahr
The Four Feathers (2002) Jack Durrance
Last Call with Carson Daly (2002)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2014)
Carving Out Our Name (2001) Himself
Soul Survivors (2001) Matt
The Claim (2000) Donald Dalglish
The White River Kid (1999) White River Kid
American Beauty (1999) Ricky Fitts
Three Below Zero (1998) Julian Fincher
Beloved (1998) Schoolteacher's Nephew
Serendipity Lane (1995) Lonnie
Gomorron (1992)  Himself (1 episode, 2000)
Cinema 3 (1984)  Himself (1 episode, 2011)
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Himself (uncredited) (1 episode, 2000)

Producer ( 2 credits )

The Tomb (2009) co-executive producer
The Ungodly (2007) associate producer