“He Even Begged Me… In An Email”: The Oscar-Winning Dc Star Who Pleaded Yellowstone Actor Wes Bentley Give Up A Dangerous Habit


In the world of Yellowstone, problems get solved by guns and the cunning minds of those in power. The real world, on the other hand, is hardly as entertaining as Taylor Sheridan’s universe. Wes Bentley could vouch for that fact on account of the addiction-related struggles of his past and his friendship with a ubiquitously loved star that ended much too soon in tragedy.

In the years since Bentley won his battle against addiction, the actor has helped shed light on the subject multiple times in numerous interviews. More importantly, however, he has never forgotten the people who helped push him across the line to sobriety, one of them being the Oscar-winning DC star, Heath Ledger.

Yellowstone Actor Wes Bentley’s Struggle With Addiction

Hollywood in the 90s was an open playground for those involved with hard drugs and alcohol. Stars of such caliber as Robert Downey Jr., Matthew Perry, Ewan McGregor, River Phoenix, and Drew Barrymore fell prey to addiction much before or in their 20s. A-lister frequented clubs on the Sunset Strip and Hollywood afterparties made it easier for actors to get access to hard substances.

Among the many stars who have faced their lowest point at the turn of the century, Wes Bentley was one. After experiencing groundbreaking success with American Beauty in 1999, the climb was steep and the fall too quick for the Yellowstone star. As Bentley would go on to recount in an interview with Men’s Health, “I ended up going down the cocaine and heroin route.”

That period was incredibly dark. I did really dangerous stuff. I went downtown. I went and hung with really shady people. I wasn’t trying to kill myself or anything. That was just me: Go far. Be the guy who went the furthest. I lost everything in the fire. I had no car, I had no clothes, I had no money – I was $400,000 in debt.

Soon after, he hit rock bottom and relapsed despite getting arrested in 2008 and going through a court-mandated rehab stint. However, much like Robert Downey Jr., meeting the right woman at the right time helped the Yellowstone actor achieve sobriety for good. In 2010, the couple tied the knot and the path has been uphill for Wes Bentley ever since.


Yellowstone Star Credits Heath Ledger With His Sobriety

Heath Ledger may have accrued global fame following his Oscar-winning performance as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight but he endeared himself to movie lovers long before putting on the mask of the maniacal Clown Prince of Gotham. Movies like 10 Things I Hate About You and Brokeback Mountain only solidified his star status before his ascension was tragically cut short when he passed away in 2008 due to an accidental drug overdose.

However, before reaching global fame of his own, Ledger and Bentley crossed paths in 2002 while working on the war drama, The Four Feathers. It was during the filming of this movie that Ledger grew closer to his co-star, knew about his struggles with addiction, and attempted to help him through the dark times long after the movie was complete. Bentley later recalled:

He even begged me to get sober in an email. Last email, he was beggin’ me. I didn’t, at first, but later, getting sober, I’d think of that email all the time.

When Ledger passed away in 2008, Bentley was on his way to the memorial service when he decided to get out of the cab midway because “I was really messed up, and I felt like that wasn’t right.”

I’d never felt love from someone like him. And he didn’t care what I was, or what I was like, the stupid things I was doing. He just wanted me to be better. I always thought of him as a brother, and I wish I could’ve given that back.

After getting completely sober in 2010, success came fast for Wes Bentley with The Hunger Games in 2012. Since then, it has been a straight path to Yellowstone where he continues to shine as Jaime Dutton since the summer of 2018.