Yellowstone Star Says Robert Downey Jr. Saved Their Life

Yellowstone star Wes Bentley was inspired to seek sobriety by Robert Downey Jr.'s struggle with addiction.

By Chad Langen | Published

Robert Downey Jr., who is undoubtedly best known for portraying Iron Man in a slew of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, suffered from long-term drug addiction before finally getting sober in 2003. He went from an actor that studios avoided casting in their projects at all costs to one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. Over the years, Downey Jr. has publicly opened up about his past drug use, and according to Page Six, he inspired Yellowstone star Wes Bentley to seek sobriety.

The 44-year-old actor told the outlet at the recent Season 5 premiere of Yellowstone in New York that watching Robert Downey Jr. courageously share his struggles with drug abuse with the public inspired him to overcome his heroin addiction. He said, “I was in the deepest throes of my addiction and in the worst place and at death’s door, I guess, or at risk of it and I saw him be so bold and brave and open and it saved me.” He went on to explain that if he was able to kick his addiction and get sober, then perhaps he could inspire someone else to do the same.

Wes Bentley in Yellowstone

Wes Bentley’s drug addiction began soon after he landed the role of Ricky Fitts in the Academy Award-winning picture American Beauty. He told the New York Times in 2010 that he sought work between 2002 to 2009 merely to earn money to score drugs. Now, Bentley portrays Jamie Dutton on Yellowstone, which is one of the most popular television shows currently on the air.

Yellowstone premiered on June 20, 2018, on Paramount Network, and it quickly became one of the most acclaimed series on television. The western drama, which was created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, centers on a ranching family in Montana that faces off against others encroaching on their land. Since the show premiered, it has led to several spin-offs, including the prequel show 1883 starring real-life couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and another upcoming prequel, 1923, starring Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford.

Another spin-off series titled 6666 was announced in February 2021. Although no cast members have been announced for the forthcoming show, it will center around the lives of cowboys living and working on Texas’ 6666 Ranch. The gigantic property was first introduced in the fourth season of Yellowstone, and if the show’s title is any indication, it will be prominently featured in the new spin-off.

In addition to Wes Bentley, Yellowstone stars Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Breckin Merill, Jefferson White, Gil Birmingham, and Forrie J. Smith. The hotly anticipated fifth season of the popular series is scheduled to premiere November 13, 2022, and although there was speculation it would serve as the end of the Dutton story, Hauser confirmed to People that isn’t the case.

After the actor told the outlet that the forthcoming season wasn’t the last at the New York City premiere for Season 5, an executive confirmed that co-creator Taylor Sheridan wasn’t present at the event because he was busy penning the show’s sixth season.

Although plot details for the upcoming fifth season of Yellowstone are minimal, a trailer released last month shows that John Dutton (Kevin Costner), will be sworn in as Montana’s new governor. Meanwhile, his daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly), will be appointed as his chief of staff. The series returns Sunday, November 13 with back-to-back episodes on Paramount Network.