If you don’t know (what rock are you living under?), Wes Bentley stars in Disney’s Pete’s Dragon (IN THEATERS NOW!). His character, Jack, is in a complicated situation. He’s the owner of a local lumber mill but his girlfriend, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a forest ranger. Jack has to learn the balance between his work and home life. Knowing that cutting down trees is a way of life but how can it be done responsibly especially with Grace by his side.
We actually asked Wes about his thoughts on the environmental aspects of the film. This is what he had to say:
It kind of hits you to the core ’cause the earth’s part of us, we’re part of the earth. You can sense it there [in New Zealand). There are definitely better ways to do it now where the trees can grow back quicker. But a lot of times you’re growing back quicker just to cut ’em down again. So it is a legitimate industry. – Wes Bentley on cutting trees for a living.
Disclosure: I was invited on a press trip for Disney Entertainment. My travel and accommodations were provided by Disney. All opinions are my own unless noted otherwise. No further compensation was received.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Wes Bentley
Wes was really great to interview. So articulate and SUPER nice. I thought I’d do something different and create a list of some of my favorite tidbits about Wes from our interview. Enjoy!
1. Wes really loves New Zealand! – if you haven’t noticed yet, the entire cast loved New Zealand. Definitely, a place I am convinced I need to visit. One major thing everyone has said was just how beautiful the land is. As someone who has never left the U.S. and haven’t really traveled that much, a beautiful open lush space sounds incredible.
It was beautiful. My family came out for the last two months so I had my kids and my wife out there. I had a lot of time between shooting so I got to do a lot of the touring around and we got to go do a bunch of very exciting things. Everywhere you turn in New Zealand there’s something exciting to do and you don’t have to sign a bunch of waivers and all of that so it was a blast. It’s the gem of the world. – Wes Bentley on New Zealand.
2. Wes didn’t show his 5-year-old son the original Pete’s Dragon! – I still haven’t shown my kid’s the original film so I was curious if Wes had shown his oldest (Charles) the 1977 Pete’s Dragon. I love the original but I think we, as adults, sort of have an eye for the old style of film since that’s what we grew up seeing. I totally agree with Wes’ answer.
I kind of wanted him to see this one first and then watch that one later. Kids, they’re very aware of animation styles so it’s hard to convince them [his kids] even to watch Alice In Wonderland, which is still amazing animation. But because of the difference in the look, it’s hard to get ’em to lock in on it, you know? So, so I wanted him to see this Pete. – Wes Bentley on showing his kids the original Pete’s Dragon
After our interview, last Monday, Charles and his dad got to experience the red carpet world premiere of Pete’s Dragon together. We know Charles was super excited for the night to come. We didn’t speak afterward but I hope he had the best time ever and loved seeing his dad up on the big screen.
Fun Fact: It was Charles’ first time watching one of his dad’s films!
3. Wes didn’t have to audition for his role! – It’s true! How cool would that be and weight off your shoulders as an actor?
I had met with David Lowery on something else maybe a year before this came out. He luckily really wanted me to be in Pete’s Dragon and convinced them that I could play a nice Disney dad and thankfully he did. – Wes Bentley on getting his role in Pete’s Dragon.
4. Wes Bentley had to work on his eyebrows for Pete’s Dragon. – We all know that Wes has played some pretty dark characters. If you’re a nice guy, like Wes, transitioning to a nice Disney dad shouldn’t be hard, right?
I’m aware of my film habits because I have for so long played guys who are darker or dealing with very complex issues and they’re dealing with their darker sides. So I came in really aware of my eyebrows, sort of like (*scowling*). Just trying to make sure my face showed my inner feelings which didn’t always happen. I’ve always had to deal with, “Why are you so mad?” or “What are you angry about?” when I wasn’t…I was thinking about lollipops and cotton candy! – Wes Bentley on his childhood.
5. Wes Bentley DIDN’T have an imaginary friend as a child! – What the what? I know, crazy. Wes claims he had a hyperactive imagination as a child but that creativity didn’t go to making up friends. He did other fun things with it though.
I would create (in my head) all these clubs and I was the club president of all of ’em. I had like this whole clubhouse underneath the fence in my backyard and all my friends who were in the club. – Wes Bentley on playing “Jack”.
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