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Wes Bentley Says ‘Yellowstone’ Character’s ‘Sadness Permeates My Life’

"He’s always there behind me, clawing at that, especially when I’m shooting," Bentley said of portraying the complicated Jamie Dutton in the hit Paramount series.

Wes Bentley at the "Yellowstone" Season 2 premiere

Wes Bentley

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Wes Bentley is reflecting on the plight of Jamie Dutton.

The “Yellowstone” actor plays Jamie, the son of rancher-turned-governor John Dutton (Kevin Costner), in the hit Paramount Network series. Yet Bentley’s emotional journey through depression has anchored the character, forcing Bentley to create new boundaries between his roles and home life.

“He’s incredibly sad,” Bentley told The New York Times of his character Jamie. “I’ve always dealt with my sadness with things like comedy, or humor, or drugs at one point, or trying to just ignore it and finding another way out of it. But you can’t do that when you’re trying to portray someone’s sadness. You have to let it be there. That’s been the hardest part of it all, and it’s weighed on my life a little bit.”

Bentley has portrayed Jamie since “Yellowstone” debuted in 2018. Season 5 returns this summer.

“I’ve prided myself for most of my career on leaving it at the door, or like an athlete would say, leaving it on the field,” Bentley continued. “But Jamie’s sadness permeates my life, even though I’m not sad. I’m very lucky to have a great family and be where I’m at in life, but he’s always there behind me, clawing at that, especially when I’m shooting.”

Bentley added that his wife, “Dolan’s Cadillac” associate producer and assistant director Jacqui Swedberg, warns him about letting Jamie permeate his psyche.

“‘You’re letting him come home now,'” Bentley recalled Swedberg telling him. “‘Jamie’s coming home, and we don’t want him here.'”

Bentley previously opened up about battling addiction in his early career. In 2008, Bentley pled guilty to heroin possession; the actor has since been sober since July 2009.

“Before I was like, ‘I’m partying, fine, but I can stop this,'” Bentley said. “Now it was like, ‘Man, I can’t stop this, and I really want to.’…The regrets are always going to be there.”

Bentley summed up, “I believe in fate, and I believe I went through all that, caused all that, and experienced all that, because I was going to get here. There are many things that I regret, but I’m just so happy with my life.”

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