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Josh Hartnett Says He Made a Mistake Turning Down Christopher Nolan's 'Batman'

Josh Hartnett Says He Made a Mistake Turning Down Christopher Nolan's 'Batman'

Josh Hartnett is all about Freedom in this brand new feature from Playboy‘s latest issue.

Here’s what the 36-year-old actor had to share:

On why he took a break from Hollywood: “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. 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. 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.”

On mistakes he made early in his career: “I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people. People don’t like being told no. I learned my lesson when [writer-director] Christopher Nolan and I talked about Batman. I decided it wasn’t for me. Then he didn’t want to put me in The Prestige. That’s when I realized relationships were formed in the fire of that first Batman film and I should have been part of the relationship with this guy Nolan, who I felt was incredibly cool and very talented. I was so focused on not being pigeonholed and so scared of being considered only one thing as an actor. I should have thought, Well, then, work harder, man, watching Christian Bale go on to do so many other things has been just awesome. I mean, he’s been able to overcome that. Why couldn’t I see that at the time?”

On his “know it all” younger self: “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. 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. I had to take a step back from doing that to figure out, Do I actually know what I’m talking about?”

For more from Josh, visit

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Credit: Courtesy Playboy/Michael Muller
Posted to: Josh Hartnett, Magazine

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  • PlayNice

    After reading this, I feel bad for Josh. Some directors are such dicks!

  • FerCat

    I don’t think he fits Nolan’s directing style. He’d do better with someone like Whedon.

  • Guest

    ➯➯➯➯➯I RECEIVED FIRST DRAFT OF $13000!@ak10:



  • Dre 3000

    It’s really cool that he admitted that. Before you agree to do a big comic book role like Batman, you have to completely trust the director and his vision. And not be afraid of failure or haters. It definitely ain’t for everybody.

  • Nameless Paladin

    Thank god he wasn’t in it. Josh Hartnett is a terrible actor.

  • dalovelee

    Hopefully he doesn’t allow his past decision to be the dark shadow that follows him around. Some roles aren’t right for an actor..and the role went to the person it was meant to go to. But to be shut out by a director because he said no very telling how shallow and cut throat and vindictive Hollywood is. If you don’t play along actors get black balled.

  • Guest

    That’s why lots of people are glad they got successful later in life, in their 30s or something. Lots of f*cked up celebs, including teen stars who can’t handle their fame and fortune. I think it’s great he’s being honest about it, though I’m not a big fan of his acting.

  • jason

    josh is a good actor and a honest man

  • Tigerlilly

    Great interview. Personally I’ve missed him very much when he disappeared from the big screen. Always liked his work very much.

  • Valentine416

    That’s true. I bet Brandon Routh wishes he said no.

  • Dre 3000

    In HIS case, he had to say yes. And he’d totally do it all over again. He was an unknown actor who got cast to play Superman, in a hyped up movie with a decent director. It’s not his fault that the movie didn’t meet Warner Brothers’ expectations. If anything, the Superman role helped his career.