Tag Archives: Amanda Seyfried

Wes Bentley, Fresh Career Momentum, Happiness — Stark Contrast to Whitney Houston Story

Wes Bentley

With a string of high-profile movies on the way — including Summit Entertainment’s “Gone” thriller that opens Friday (2/24) — Wes Bentley has built up a wave of fresh career momentum.  He has a wife and a one-year-old son he adores at home.  He looks great.  Life is good.   It’s hard to believe that between 2002 and 2009, the actor who rocketed to fame with the 1999 “American Beauty” hit the depths of addiction — alcohol, cocaine, heroin.

Coming off a week of following the sad news of Whitney Houston’s death, talking with Bentley has an alternate universe feeling about it.

“It’s upsetting,” he says, asked about the late pop icon.  “I can’t speak to exactly where she was, but probably in a sad place.  Doing that to yourself means you still haven’t found the right support or settled the emotions in yourself you need to settle.  That kind of unrest is difficult to live with.”

Has he settled his own unrest?

“I have a great support system, and I have certain programs to help me,” he replies.  “There’s a big barrier between me and my vices — a lot of phone numbers of people I can call, a child and family.  There are a lot of reasons between me and falling back into that again.”

Bentley went public with his own story in 2010, telling of the years he barely worked and spent his time in clubs, hotel rooms, and drug dens.  To see where he is now can offer a positive example for others trying to break the addiction cycle.  “I hope so,” he says.  “That’s the only reason I ever talked about it.”

That and, as he’s admitted, to help get his career going again.

The actor is in the much-anticipated March 23 release adaptation of Suzanne Collin’s novel, “The Hunger Games” — complete with an elaborately-defined beard that won its own fan following thanks to the trailer and advance publicity.

Now he has “Gone,” playing a police detective dealing with Amanda Seyfried’s character, a woman racing against time to rescue her sister from a serial killer.  “I was attracted to this for a number of reasons — I’m a fan of (director) Heitor Dhalia, and also Amanda.  I love working with her,” Bentley says. “And I like stories that empower women.”

Their scenes are intense, but, “We were laughing between scenes all the time,” Bentley says.  “Amanda is funny.  There’s a scene where I ask her to give me her number so I can get in touch with her — she typed in the number 1.  She also introduced me to the honeybadger video while we were on that shoot.”

Bentley is also in Seyfried’s forthcoming “Lovelace” movie about porn superstar Linda Lovelace, playing the photographer who did the poster for ‘Deep Throat.'”

“It’s a great scene.  He’s one of the more sensitive men to her in the story,” the actor says.

He’s currently shooting the apocalyptic Western-thriller “The Time Being” with Frank Langella, “who I just love.  We get along great together.  We’re kindred spirits, and very similar actors.  It could be a pretty heavy movie, and we both like to joke around right up to the point of action, and then we’re both very focused and prepared.  It’s an adrenaline rush.”

Bentley feels he’s found balance in his life.  The celebrity that once overpowered him is no longer an issue.  “I feel like I always wanted to do good work, and I’m doing that.  I’m staying focused on the core of what is important to me — my family and being a good person.  The rest is, you know, just another part of life.  I don’t let it overwhelm me anymore.  I’ve definitely seen a lot, gone through a lot — and no uncomfortable feeling with fame can compare to the stuff I’ve been uncomfortable with in life.”


Kate Bosworth Performance a Revelation Says ‘Another Happy Day’s’ Michael Nardelli

Michael Nardelli

Sam Levinson’s “Another Happy Day” boasts a cast including Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, Thomas Haden Church, Ellen Burstyn and George Kennedy — but it’s Kate Bosworth’s performance that stunned her costar and producer on the film, Michael Nardelli

“It’s a much more raw role for her than has been seen in the past.  Her emotions, her vulnerability, the places she went for this character who’s been emotionally victimized in the past, she is really great.  She’s really serious,” declares the hunky blond Nardelli, a USC grad, Groundlings member — and increasingly hot property. 

Nardelli started off being cast as Bosworth’s and Miller’s older brother in the film, opening today (11/18).  He credits his “obsession” with the project and Levinson’s script when asked how he wound up among the producers on the Sundance Film Festival favorite.  

“It was odd.  I was in Michigan doing prep work for another film,  ‘The Giant Mechanical Man,’ and I heard ‘Another Happy Day’ was fluctuating — the way they do in independent films,” he explains.  He contacted producer Celine Rattray (“The Kids Are All Right”) and said, “‘I know you’re inMichigan.  I’m already there, forming a production company, and I’d be happy to help with locations, financing, whatever I can do.'”  Two months later, he was brought in officially as one of the producers on the feature.   

“Sam’s script was just this great ensemble family dark comedy.  What was so attractive to the actors is, there’s nothing black or white about it, there’s no villain, no hero.  These are real people with real flaws and real attributes, there’s dimension to every facet to them,” he goes on.  “They’re each very relatable.  I think for an actor it’s much more interesting to play different shades of a character.”

Nardelli found himself multi-tasking in an enormous way, with two jobs on “Another Happy Day” — while he was overseeing filming of the upcoming “Giant Mechanical Man” cinema love story starring Jenna Fischer, Chris Messina and Topher Grace.  There were days he worked on both sets at different times.  Then he rushed immediately into another acting job in the big-screen chiller, “The Collection.”

“It was weird to go from being a full-time producer guy back to full-time actor guy.  I kept wanting to help out at video village or help the grips or check the cost report,” admits Nardelli with a laugh.  He has several other films on the way, too, as producer and/or actor.  He’ll be seen as “a stoner” who gets caught up in a political movement in Stephen (father of Jake and Maggie) Gyllenhaal’s “Grassroots” — and he has the big-screen adaptation of the Rolling Stone article, “The Girl Who Conned the Ivy League” in development for Amanda Seyfried. 

That’s pretty impressive for someone who looks like he could be a freshman himself.