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Wes Bentley Dissects The Hunger Games: ‘It Echoes 1984, Ayn Rand’

At last night's screening of There Be Dragons, hosted by the Cinema Society and Grey Goose, star Wes Bentley admitted, "I came to the film in a really dark point in my life." Now that he has put drug addiction behind him, though, he is happy to find that people are rooting for him again — especially now that he's landed the role of Seneca Crane in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. "It feels great, especially when you've been beating yourself up so much and you think everyone else is beating you up," he said. "But I found out that in fact [people] support me and they want to be there for me. It was great for me to realize they were all supporting me."

As for Games, consider him a fan. "I read the first book, and she's such a great writer, Suzanne Collins," Bentley said. "I'm very excited to be a part of it. I loved the first book. It was so great. It's such an original idea. It echoes a lot of 1984. It echoes Ayn Rand. It's got all the elements of great literature. It's a modern tale of the government putting fear in people."

The rabid Games readership has had a lot to say about the movie's casting announcements, but Bentley doesn't mind the scrutiny. "I think it's all fair. It's great because it means there are passionate fans out there. That's the thing about literature: There are different ways to interpret what you've read ... It's difficult to create a great script and then to create a great movie after a great piece of literature. There's a lot of collaboration involved." And a lot of pressure, too? "That's the kind of the thing — I don't put pressure on myself anymore. I just enjoy being happy and clear and being with people I love and focus on doing the best I can. That's what I've really learned — to do the best I can with what I have. And that's what I am going to do for the rest of my life."

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images