Thomas Jane Biography: In His Own Words – Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Thomas Jane is an American actor, director and producer. He is best known for his roles in films such as Boogie Nights (1997) and Deep Blue Sea (1989), along with the TV shows Hung and The Expense. In this biography, Jane tells his story in his own words.
Thomas Jane Bio: Age, Early Life, Family, Education
Thomas Elliot III was born in Baltimore, Maryland on February 22, 1969 (Thomas Jane age: 50). He lived with his parents, Cynthia and Michael Elliott, in the Baltimore-Washington suburbs until age 18, when he dropped out of Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School to pursue acting.
Upon arriving in Hollywood, Jane was temporarily homeless and would often perform songs on the street to scrape by. He described these circumstances in an exclusive 2009 uInterview. “I came out to Hollywood Boulevard when I was 18 years old, and I looked at the stars on the sidewalk, and I didn’t know anybody,” Jane told uInterview. “I didn’t have a place to live, so slept on park benches, in welfare hotels, lawn mower sheds, and I got little parts in commercials because my buddy’s dad directed commercials.” Jane has also admitted to performing sexual acts for money in his earliest days living on Hollywood Boulevard, as he was determined to pursue acting but had no means to do so.
Click here to read more about Thomas Jane’s struggle for the spotlight and opinions on nude acting. Be sure to check out the full autobiographical interview at the top of the page.
Thomas Jane Bio: Exclusive Interview on His Earliest Role
Jane’s earliest film role came with the 1987 Indian movie Padamati Sandhya Ragam. In April 2019, he sat down with uInterview to describe this foray into acting and the path that led him there. He discussed how he left high school after discovering his love for acting in a school theater production. “I fell in love with acting so much,” he told uInterview exclusively, “that I dropped out of high school and said, ‘Mom, I’m not doing this anymore. I don’t need any of this crap … if I want to be an actor.’”
Next, a neighbor recommended Jane to the Maryland Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he met actor and mentor Ralph Tabakin. Jane told uInterview, “I was sweeping floors at a hardware store when Ralph, my teacher, calls me … and he says, ‘I’ve got some Indians in town and they want to make a movie.’”
Tabakin told Jane that filmmakers had arrived from India in the hopes of hiring an all-American lead. “‘I want you to go down there and I want you to get the part,’” he instructed Jane. “‘You know, they’re looking for a blond-haired, blue-eyed, real white dude.’” When Jane replied that he didn’t have blue eyes, Tabakin said, “‘You got blue eyes now. You get down there and you get the part and I get 10% because I’m acting as your agent.’” Sure enough, Jane secured the role and made his on-screen debut as Tom.
Jane told uInterview about his experience filming Padamati Sandhya Ragam. He reported that the cast and crew “drove all around America with a Bollywood princess who hated [him], and her own cook, and it was like … mini-India driving around in three vans and an RV, all across the country.” Jane recalled sleeping on the floor of an Indian church in Orange County and several others across the nation over the course of their trip. After filming two Bollywood movies in India, Jane felt inspired to “drive across the country and try to do this in Hollywood” upon his return to the States.
Thomas Jane Bio: Acting Career
Jane first graced the mainstream American media in 1992 as Zeph in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Billy in the movie Nemesis. Over the next few years, he landed a number of supporting roles in films such as Boogie Nights (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998) and Magnolia (1999). In 2000, Jane briefly returned to his theatrical roots in a production of The Glass Menagerie. He made more of a name for himself on-screen in 2001 by playing Mickey Mantle in the TV movie 61*. This role broke the ice for Jane, who found himself fielding offers for lead roles in many other films. Among these was Stander, a 2003 South African picture which garnered more fame and fortune for Jane.
Though now one of his more notable acting jobs, Jane twice rejected the lead role in the 2004 remake of The Punisher. He claimed not to care for superhero films and only came around to the idea after noting the complexity of his proposed character. In preparation for Punisher, Jane bulked up both physically and mentally, training with Navy Seals and tearing through Punisher comic books at once. Following the film’s release, Jane remained committed to the project, voicing over characters for the video games The Punisher and Gun.
Though Lions Gate Entertainment arranged for a sequel to The Punisher, it never came to fruition. Writer Jonathan Hensleigh left the project after three years of production stagnancy, and potential director John Dahl disapproved so strongly of the movie’s script and budget cuts that he followed suit. In 2007, Jane cited creative differences and reduced finances as his own reasons for abandoning the sequel. Later that year, he played David Drayton in The Mist, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel by the same name.
In 2009, Jane directed his first film, Dark Country. He starred concurrently in this mystery thriller and the crime movie Give ‘Em Hell, Malone featuring Ving Rhames. Also in 2009, Jane ventured into the business world as co-owner of the entertainment company RAW, which published his comic miniseries as a book entitled Bad Planet.
Between 2009 and 2011, Jane assumed the lead role in the comedy Hung. This series ran on HBO for two seasons and earned Jane nominations for Best Actor from the Golden Globe and Satellite Awards. In it, Jane plays history teacher and basketball coach Ray Drecker, who falls on hard times and turns to sex and anatomy to lift him back up.
In 2010, Jane voiced the protagonist of the animated short films DC Showcase: Jonah Hex and Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam. He also made the cover of the June/July edition of Men’s Fitness magazine. In 2011, Jane played Richard in the indie thriller I Melt With You. In 2012, he released both an EP called Don’t Come Home and a short film The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, which he debuted at Comic-Con in San Diego.
The next few years held no major roles for Jane. He appeared in a number of films and TV shows, ranging from 2014’s Drive Hard and Reach Me to Texas Rising (2015). He acted as James Wykoff in two episodes of this historical fiction miniseries. The same year, Jane began filming for the hit Syfy mystery show The Expanse, which follows the war between Earthlings and Martians over precious space metals. Jane holds the lead role of Detective Josephus Miller, who investigates murder and inequality in space. The Expanse has been extremely well received by critics and viewers alike and required a rush order on its second season, released in February 2017.
Also in 2017, Jane acted under the guise of Shane Black in The Predator. This sequel to Predator (1987) began production during the release of The Expanse’s second season and appeared in theaters the following year. Since then, Jane has appeared in a number of films currently undergoing the final stages of production. He is currently in the midst two comic books: a solo project called The Lycan and a second work co-written by Steve Niles. He is also filming the sci-fi thriller Warning and continuing with his role in The Expanse, among other projects. One of these is the film Crown Vic, set to come out later in 2019.
Thomas Jane Bio: Exclusive Interview on ‘Crown Vic’
In his exclusive interview with uInterview, Jane discussed his upcoming film Crown Vic, in which he plays police officer Ray Mandel. The movie picks up on Ray’s first shift as a training officer for rookie Nick Holland, played by Luke Kleintank. Jane reported that he and Kleintank “had a lot of fun” in these roles, “sort of like polar opposites. You know, one guy’s first coming in and the other guy’s coming out, and it’s a different era, it’s a different time. The cops are trying to change their image.”
To address the controversies surrounding cops today, Jane talked about the lens through which Crown Vic portrays the police force. “[W]hat I loved about the show,” he said, “is we don’t take any sides as far as making a comment on whether or not the police are good or bad or need to be reformed or any of that stuff. We just look at the human beings who wear the badge. That made it very interesting, you know, because it’s … a very complex job, and to do a movie that explores the complexities of being a policeman in 2018 Los Angeles was very attractive.”
In addition to the movie’s plot, Jane enjoyed multiple aspects of the filming process. “Scenes between me and Luke were extremely fun to do,” he remarked. “They’re personal, the characters are very different, and there was just this wonderful dynamic that I remember having, that I was actually sad when it was over.”
Jane described his joint scenes with Kleintank as “emotional” and exemplary of the human side of police work. “I think any cop who’s been on the beat for long enough needs to find that way of separating their emotions from the job, right?” he commented. “You need to find a way to go home at night and put it aside for a few hours so you can do it again the next night.” Jane discussed how the litany of “horrible things” cops witness on a daily basis “really starts to weigh on you.” For Jane, “the fun the challenge . . . was to find that sweet spot between being a human being and affected by what we see and pushing that away, you know, and being able to live with it.”
Jane went on to speak positively about Crown Vic being filmed at night, which he considers his “sweet spot.” Jane said of this arrangement, “The crew doesn’t like it very much, and I guess normal people don’t like it, but I love it! I love it. That was my favorite part, you know. Waking up at 5 p.m. and having a little food and a coffee and then going off to work? I could do that every day of my life.”
When asked about his own acting, Jane admitted that he steers clear from watching himself on the screen. “I try not to watch the movies that I do,” he explained, “because I have the experience of creating the whole thing, and that movie that’s in my head is never gonna be the movie that is finally shown. And the movie in my head is usually much better.”
Thomas Jane Bio: Personal Life, Spouses, Quotes
Both of Jane’s marriages have ended in divorce, the first being his relationship with Aysha Hauer. Daughter of Blade Runner star Rutger Hauer, Hauer was married to Jane from 1989 to 1995, when the two officially separated. Three years later, Jane became engaged to Olivia d’Abo, an actress from The Wonder Years and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
However, Jane relinquished this engagement after three years in favor of another. He met Patricia Arquette, an actress in Holes and Medium, through mutual friends in 2001 and proposed the following year. On February 20, 2003, Harlow Olivia Calliope Jane entered the world as the couple’s only child, calling for an immediate marriage. The wedding ceremonies were held at the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo in Venice, Italy.
Arquette filed for divorce in January 2009, abandoned her petition six months later, and took it up again after another year. The Jane-Arquette divorce was finalized on July 1, 2011 and granted both parties joint custody of Harlow. Jane dated actresses Natalie Zea and Demi Moore following his second divorce but has entered no serious relationships since.
“There was a time when I just did [movies] to get the experience and training. Now, I only do them because they are so good that I have no choice, and Stander was a prime example. I feel strongly that I shouldn’t get involved with anything unless I’m 100% committed. I don’t need to go out and work so much. I just want to spend time with my kid. I am turning down as much crap as I can until I find something that really bowls me over.”
“I like broad comedies, hardcore action, serious drama, science fiction, I love horror films. What draws me to them is their purity of vision that they are exactly what they say they are – that there a great embodiment of a horror film or a great drama. I guess that’s what draws me to a film – the quality of a film.”
“I don’t go to work to have fun. I turn up, say my lines, collect my check, and then go home to my wife and kid. I ain’t there to stick around and laugh and cut up with people, and I ain’t there to giggle and play jokes and pull people’s underwear down and stuff.”
“I’m of the mind that life is a risk. Every time you leave your house, it’s a risk. I see no reason to go through life with my hands behind my back for any reason. It doesn’t mean I’d be stupid or foolish but I wouldn’t let anything stop me that I felt I could do. Risks are what make life a real thrill.”