Thomas Jane plays the role of a male prostitute pretty well on HBO's Hung, but I never would have guessed that the story lines on the show were similar to something that he actually experienced. In a shocking revelation, Jane says that as struggling, penniless actor, he sometimes performed sex acts to make ends meet.
"You're a lot more open to experimentation as a young man," he told the LA Times. "And for me, being a young artist and broke in Los Angeles, I was exploring my sexual identity." I can't tell you how much I love that not only is he talking about this, he's just casually discussing it.
I don't condone prostitution, but I very much appreciate a successful, well known actor speaking publicly about experimenting with the same sex-- and expressing no shame toward the subject.
"Hey, you grow up as an artist in a big city, as James Dean said, you're going to have one arm tied behind your back if you don't accept people's sexual flavors. You know, when I was a kid out here in L.A., I was homeless, I didn't have any money and I was living in my car. I was 18. I wasn't averse to going down to Santa Monica Boulevard and letting a guy buy me a sandwich. Know what I mean?"
I'm not going to flat out call Jane a prostitute since we don't really know the whole story, but I think it's fair to say that most people who dabble in that profession even a little bit wouldn't call it a great experience. Jane, however, looks back on it as an important lesson in acceptance. "Probably because of my middle-class, white blue-collar upbringing, I would have never had the opportunity to confront some of my own fears and prejudices had I not been hungry enough to be forced to challenge myself in that way."
Wow. You gotta love a guy that can look back on something like this in a positive light.