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Embodying Jamie Dutton's Sadness On Yellowstone Affects Wes Bentley On Screen And Off

"Yellowstone" acted as a comeback for Wes Bentley. The actor had a breakout role in 1999's "American Beauty," but his career trajectory was quickly derailed by his own demons and struggles with drugs. The actor is open about his addictions today, revealing in a 2010 New York Times interview that his addiction began after "American Beauty" and eventually he was working simply to afford his tortured lifestyle. 

The actor luckily recognized his problem and entered rehab. Today he's back to being the artist always putting everything on the screen. "Yellowstone" is evidence of that. Bentley portrays Jamie Dutton, the most tortured member of the Dutton family. Jamie has shown over the course of "Yellowstone" he's capable of being a loyal, valuable family member, and he's also proven he can de a detriment, killing a journalist he revealed Dutton family secrets to and never being able to rebuild his relationship with his sister, Beth (Kelly Reilly), who underwent an irreversible operation as a teenager thanks to a mix of her brother's cold nature and naïveté. 

Fans have learned Jamie was adopted by John Dutton (Kevin Costner) after his father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton), killed his mother. Jamie's future as hero or villain remains murky with Jamie and Beth essentially declaring civil war in "Yellowstone" Season 5. 

Bentley has revealed that Jamie's sadness is something that's bled into his own life due to his own personal connection.

Wes Bentley is grateful for his family while playing Jamie Dutton

Wes Bentley would likely not want to be playing Jamie Dutton while he was in the midst of his addiction struggles. The actor revealed the sadness of the character bleeds into his own life.

"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 told The New York Times

Bentley said he's not an actor who prefers to leave a character's baggage on set, but Jamie can be a struggle. It's understandable when you consider how deep the rabbit hole of emotions is for Jamie. The man killed his biological father and now the only family he's ever known stands opposite him. In the "Yellowstone" Season 5 midseason finale, both Jamie and Beth are contemplating having the other killed. According to Bentley, the character of Jamie is always around, but his family helps ground him.

"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," he said.