Thomas Jane of ‘Hung’ Admits He Was a Real-Life Male Hooker

HBO’s programming, while very high-quality and sticky, can sometimes hit a bit of a nerve.

And the show Hung, going into its second season, is one of those properties that’s almost too gritty to watch sometimes. While the fare is, for HBO, a bit light and comical (it’s not nearly as dark as the Sopranos or even True Blood), I’ll personally admit to finding it a bit sadly realistic from time to time- there’s just something so depressing about Ray’s situation that makes it hard to watch.

Which is not to say the premise- a male gym teacher turns to a gigolo gig, giving married ladies a thrill in afternoon trysts- is all that believable in and of itself. But actor Thomas Jane admits that before he ‘made it’ in Hollywood, he himself turned to prostitution to survive.

Jane doesn’t cloud his past when speaking of the time in his life before acting paid the bills and speaks of dalliances with men and women as a teen. The star says:

“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?”

Of his experiences with men, Jane says:

“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… I chose to be a heterosexual guy because that’s what my DNA dictates and my nurture dictates that I am.”

Jane admits that with his middle class, white collar upbringing, he otherwise would “never had the opportunity to confront some of my own fears and prejudices had I not been hungry enough to be forced to challenge [himself] in that way.” Hung airs on Sunday nights on HBO.