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 Playboy.com.