October 4th, 2011
09:45 AM ET
It sounds like Thomas Jane might've had a few personal experiences to draw from for his role as "Hung's" high school coach-turned-prostitute Ray Drecker.
The actor tells the Los Angeles Times that growing 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 favors."
Jane continues, "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?"
At that age, he explains to the L.A. Times, a "you're a lot more open to experimentation. 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 test myself in that way."
After that kind of exploration, Jane says, you're more aware of your choices.
"I chose to be a heterosexual guy because that's what my DNA dictates and my nurture dictates that I am," he says. "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 like it or not, as my mom always said."
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