Josh Hartnett: Fame “Can Destroy You”
Josh Hartnett reflects in the new Playboy on his decision to take the path less traveled in Hollywood, having turned down some big opportunities as a young actor after shooting to stardom. “The intensity of my sudden fame was overwhelming for me, and in the middle of that, I felt I couldn’t trust any new person I met or their motives,” he tells the outlet. “I spent a lot of time back home in Minnesota with my friends and family. I did smaller movies, and I stopped working for a while.”
The actor, currently starring on “Penny Dreadful,” goes on to say, “If I could go back and take with me my wisdom of today, I wish I’d been more resilient. I hope I wouldn’t be as panicked as I was. Maybe I’d have known that no matter what people try to take from you, you don’t have to give it to them. I’ve definitely grown a bit.”
“Fame can be a dangerous thing. It can destroy you. I used to put myself in positions where I spoke up when I probably should have been listening,” recalls Hartnett. “When you’re young and have convictions, and fame suddenly gives you a microphone, you think, I’m going to tell everybody how it is.”
Hartnett is in a relationship with Tamsin Egerton, and for years he’s been romantically linked to a number of co-stars, including Scarlett Johansson and Amanda Seyfried. He’s asked how dating actresses has gone for him.
“I think it’s a respectable way of going about it,” says Hartnett. “I’ve met very important people in my life doing films. Sometimes that had consequences that were just awful for everybody involved. Some were fantastic all the way through.”
He adds, “Everybody makes mistakes dating people they work with. They’re whom I’m attracted to because I share experiences with them and understand a bit about what they are and what they do. If I were able to go back in time, I don’t know if I could have done anything any different.”
And what about the paparazzi and tabloid attention he receives? Harnett tells Playboy, “If something comes up that’s completely false, laughable or humiliating, I try not to spend any time on it. There are times when things come out and you just wish your mom didn’t read the papers. Or you hope the people who know you best know better than to believe it. It’s not to say I’ve been a saint, you know. But all that matters, I hope, is that that stuff doesn’t have any real effect on or dire consequences in my personal life with the people I love and care about.” What do you think about what Hartnett has to say?