‘The Time Being’ star Wes Bentley chooses family over art

Wes Bentley plays a struggling artist in "The Time Being." Credit: Getty Images
Wes Bentley plays a struggling artist in “The Time Being.”
Credit: Getty Images

In the film “The Time Being,” Wes Bentley plays a struggling artist who takes a job for a mysterious benefactor (Frank Langella). One idea raised by the drama is whether artists can even have families. As the father to a 2-year-old son, it’s something Bentley himself has grappled with, but he’s satisfied with his answer. He’s also satisfied that the film does a great job of making it look like he can actually paint.

The idea your character is confronted with, “artists can’t have families,” is an interesting one. What’s your take?
At one point, in my younger days, I certainly would’ve agreed with that. I thought you can’t be your true artist with a family, especially if you’re going to be a good family man. That was in my 20s before I thought I wanted to have one. Then I met my wife and fell in love with her. We decided we were going to have a kid and had him, and I then was going through the debate — “Oh my God, am I going to be able to put myself into my work knowing that I want to be a great dad and knowing the time that that’s going to take and the concentration?” I had a battle with this for a while but I quickly decided that I’m going to be a family man, and if my art struggles so be it.

There’s a saying that you can’t have a marriage, a social life and an artistic career. You have to pick one to fail.
That makes sense. I would throw out my social life — mostly because I had one and it was not all it was cracked up to be. [Laughs] I don’t find I get as much satisfaction out of an amazing social life. Having one at all is great, but it’s not at all as satisfying to me. But I get so much satisfaction out of working on my marriage — and it is work. It’s easy to love somebody, it’s hard to work on living with them. But socially, do you want to do that with a group of people? People who do that make me a little uncomfortable.

You’ve been working a great deal, filming several projects back-to-back. That can’t be easy.
The uncertainty is hard. It’s hard on a family more than you might think. I was used to it already, but as you get older and now with my family, it’s harder on them not knowing, I guess. Of course like everything, it’s a great feeling because I so desperately wanted to work and I wanted to do better and better stuff. But I’ve also got a son, so I lament missing some of my time with him because he’s only 2 years old. So bouncing around Sweden and Mexico and all that — all great projects, but I love being with him, so it’s been a bit hard. And also they haven’t been the highest-paying films, so that’s been a bit stressful. I was literally doing one and being thankful I’m on it but at the same time thinking, “I’ve got to get something right after this.”

Do you see playing parents to children older than your son as learning experiences or practice for later?
Definitely, definitely. In many ways. Within the project itself I learn some parenting but also just hanging out with a child actor all day and trying to have fun but also get them into the work, trying to influence some things there. Yeah, it’s a bit of practice.

How about the actual painting in the film? There’s a decent amount of footage of you going at canvases.
I didn’t get to do a whole lot. I think if it was something that I’d been doing for years and years we could’ve used a little bit more of it, although they did a great job of making it look like I did more than I did. It’s the beautiful thing about film. “I’ll take care of the emotional stuff, you guys make me look like a painter.” There were two artists on the film who showed me the basics.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…