Thomas Jane, the star of the US television show Hung, has revealed that he experimented sexually with men when he was younger and even traded sex for sandwiches.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Jane (42) spoke about being a struggling young actor and what he was prepared to do to survive.
“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 flavours. 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?,” said the hunky star.
“You’re a lot more open to experimentation as a young man. And for me, being a young artist and broke in Los Angeles, I was exploring my sexual identity. And 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.”
When asked if he felt that these experiences had proved to be useful, Jane responded: “Yeah, absolutely. It blew the doors off of my conventional upbringing and thinking and opened up possibilities for me that were akin to World War III. And then you actually have a choice, and I chose to be a heterosexual guy because that’s what my DNA dictates and my nurture dictates that I am.”
Journalist Irene Lacher went on to question Jane if he believes that sexual orientation is a choice.
“I don’t know,” replied the actor, “I think up to a point it’s a choice. But I’ll tell you what — it’s not a choice until you’re open enough to experience both male and female sexuality. Until you’ve tasted the food, you don’t know whether you’ll like it or not, as my mom always said.”
In Hung, Jane plays Ray Drecker, a struggling suburban high school basketball coach who resorts to prostitution with women.