Josh Hartnett appeared in numerous blockbuster films including Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, and 30 Days of Night. However, he decided to leave Hollywood and now he’s revealing his reasons behind it.
The actor appeared on Sunrise, Australia’s Channel Seven morning program, on Wednesday, December 8, where he revealed that leaving Hollywood was “the best thing for my mental health and my career.”
Hartnett explained why he gave up being a leading man and turned to more artistic roles. He told Daily Mail, “Luckily, I think I hit onto it early on. It’s about creating a good home life and being able to do things that are wild and wonderful like making films, which is such a privilege.”
However, he did admit regretting one thing that time and that was declining to play the role of Ennis Del Mar, a cowboy, in the film Brokeback Mountain by Ang Lee. He was supposed to star opposite Joaquin Phoenix.
He explained that the reason why he declined was due to a conflict in schedule. He said, “Unfortunately, I was going to do Brokeback Mountain and I had a contract with The Black Dahlia that I had to film, so I had to drop out of it.”
He jokingly shared he felt sad about it, especially since he had “always wanted to kiss Joaquin”. Eventually, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal played their parts and got nominated at the Oscars.
Hartnett also opened about leaving Hollywood during an interview with Variety in January 2020. He shared he declined offers to portray two DC superhero roles after he got shortlisted in starring as Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy by Christopher Nolan and playing Clark Kent in Superman Returns in 2006.- Advertisement -
In November 2020, he told Metro, “There were a lot of powers that be that wanted me to pursue those films, but I have always been interested in stories about people and I didn’t want to be boxed into that superhero type. At that age, it is very easy to become someone else’s tool or someone else’s puppet. I was very aware of the choices I was making and I wanted them to be my choices.”
Since then, Hartnett had portrayed different roles in film and television with his most recent, Ira Red.