'Hung' Star Thomas Jane on Sex, Drugs and Sobriety - Page 2

By Anna David 12/20/11

Squelching gay-for-pay rumors, Hung's Thomas Jane opens up about the DUI that was actually a failed suicide attempt, and how waking up in jail to a cop asking for his autograph got him to clean up his life.

Thomas Jane
The Truth About Thomas Jane Photo via

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In a 55 zone?

I was on Highway 5 [a 70 MPH zone], driving back from Northern California. And the last time I was actually doing 147 but the cop wrote less than that on the ticket. But he still said, “I have to take you to jail.”

Did he write down less—and did the previous three cops let you go—because they were fans? 

I don’t know.

You have to admit it’s unusual to get pulled over four times in a night when you’re drunk and going twice the speed limit.

Getting woken up in a jail in Bakersfield to sign an autograph at four o’clock in the morning was when I said to myself, “This is not the way I want to live my life.”

It’s a little unusual. [Pause] I’d lost the will to live that night.

So you were on a “let me crash my car” mission?

I had just lost the will to be a part of the planet. It was a tough time. My friend had died suddenly. It was late at night and it was a very nihilistic time. Getting woken up in a jail in Bakersfield to sign an autograph at four o’clock in the morning was when I said to myself, “This is not the way I want to live my life.” 

Now that you’ve changed your life, do you have a different perspective on why people do drugs and drink alcoholically?

I think if you give people drugs and alcohol, they tend to not worry too much that you’re ripping them off on the parking meters and you’re putting people in office that don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. We tend to let a lot of shit slide with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in front of us. We can go down to the bar and complain about what’s going on instead of going down to fucking Congress and complaining to the people who really fucking need to hear it. Generally, the easiest thing to do is to fall back asleep and just sort of nestle in and wait for a bit until we slough off the mortal coil and call it quits. That’s the metaphor in our film of death. 

Speaking of death, what’s your view of the war on drugs?

Everybody with half a brain understands that there is a market for drugs and there will always be a market for drugs and that the people who benefit from the fact that drugs are illegal are making more money at it that way than they would if we were taxing it. The fact is, drugs make a hell of a lot of money: it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. So those people who are in power in third-world countries and have been cut out of the chain of power in other ways are compensating for it by running drugs, man. It’s just the opposite end of the oil crisis: the oil energy guys are the guys doing it legally and above board, supposedly.

What do you think of 12-step programs?

I think whatever works for you works for you, and I think there are pluses and minuses to every dogma or doctrine. There are pieces of every good, solid spiritual doctrine that you can take and lift and use. I’ve heard people say that they wish that everyone could do this 12-step thing, but the fact is, everyone can do it.

But people aren’t willing to do it unless they get in so much pain that they feel like they have no other choice.

That’s the big truism.

How do you think addicts are different from so-called normal people?

Ultimately, anything you can say that applies to an addict also applies to a normal human being. It’s just that a spiritual way of living comes a lot slower—if at all—to people who aren’t forced to find a spiritual way of living in order not to die. Addicts are usually more sensitive and a little more intelligent [than others]: they’re absorbing what they’re being taught at a little bit higher frequency and they’re mirroring a little bit better than the average American. And addicts are usually sort of spiritual astronauts to begin with: they’re on a spiritual quest, even as they’re doing the drugs, they’re doing it to transcend themselves in a way that a normal person maybe is not. And even though you’re transcending yourself in a way that eventually causes you harm, you’re still trying for some sort of transcendence.

Is that what happened with you?

My [spiritual] thing came kind of slowly. What really triggered the spiritual journey was when I started meditating. That’s when everything sort of changed for me, and I realized what my potential as a conscious being was. 

When did you learn?

Not very long ago: I started a year ago. I learned initially from a man named Dr. Greer. Then I learned transcendental meditation from the David Lynch Foundation. David Lynch is, I think, doing more to change our planet than anyone else—through his organization, Change Begins Within. He’s actually teaching kids by going into schools and youth prisons to free the minds of children. I work with his organization and try to help and I also work with an organization called Children of the Night, which helps runaway prostitute kids. I sponsor a program that teaches them piano and singing and David’s program teaches them meditation. 

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Anna David is the New York Times-bestselling author of multiple books about overcoming difficulties and coming out on the other side: the novels Party Girl (HarperCollins, 2007) and Bought (HarperCollins, 2009), the non-fiction books Reality Matters (HarperCollins, 2010), Falling for Me (HarperCollins, 2011), By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and True Tales of Lust and Love and the Kindle Singles Animal Attraction (Amazon, 2012) and They Like Me, They Really Like Me (Amazon, 2013). Find Anna on LinkedIn and Twitter.