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We like to think the career trajectories of actors and actresses are directly linked to the opinions of the general public, but in actuality, there are a ton of factors that can determine what roles people are being offered. Some actors are hard to get along with. Some actors have random connections and relationships with studio heads, and some up and decide to move to Minnesota because they’re sick of playing the game. That last scenario is apparently what happened to Josh Hartnett and can probably be cited as one of the primary reasons he’s not a thing anymore.
Hartnett is still working, of course, but he revealed in an interview with Details Magazine that he was so paranoid about being typecast or defined by one role for the rest of his life that he turned down the possibility of playing Spider-Man, Batman and Superman. It’s not a guarantee he would have gotten any of those roles, of course, but it sounds like he would have been a finalist. His refusal to pursue those opportunities didn’t sit too well with his agents, and they eventually decided to sever their business relationship.
The stressful fiasco left a pretty sour taste in Hartnett’s mouth; so, he decided the best course of action was to move home. He just up and left for his hometown in Minnesota and started spending time with people who he knew had his back, including his high school girlfriend.
"I was on the cover of every magazine. I couldn't really go anywhere. I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. I was alone. I didn't trust anyone. So I went back to Minnesota and got back together with my old friends — ended up getting back together with my high-school girlfriend for a while — and I didn't do any filming for 18 months. I'm still finding my way through all that."
Looking back, Hartnett is convinced what his absence did, more than anything else, was forfeit his ability to land any role he wanted. Now, he’s still able to get his foot in the door. He’s still able to get his hands on all of the best scripts, but he needs to actually audition and pitch himself. Now and again, Josh Hartnett admits that process is a little bit frustrating, but apparently, it makes the wins all the more rewarding.
Moving forward, the 40 Days And 40 Nights star can next be seen in Showtime’s newest series Penny Dreadful. Early buzz is great, though that shouldn’t shock anyone since Josh Harnett is actually a really good actor. We tend to forget that about really beautiful people. We just assume they got famous for eye candy purposes. Sometimes that’s true, but in select cases, the fame is every bit deserved.
Here’s to hoping Harnett keeps doing his thing, whether that means reading for superhero movies or not.