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In a recent interview with Playboy, Josh Hartnett was asked about turning down a slew of superhero movies, including Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and whether he felt those choices impacted his career.
He was surprisingly candid — in general, when actors are asked about decisions they regretted (whether taking a big movie that sucked, or turning down one that could have been great), they are well-trained Pollyannas, saying they don’t believe in regrets.
So good for Hartnett, who’s exactly that direct and forthright in person.
He said the Playboy story got it right, but subsequent blog and tabloid headlines twisted his words into something he never intended them to be. We asked him about it during a recent chat over chicken caesar salads, and here’s what he had to say.
“I always regret being honest about certain things. The way they come out and get decontextualized makes it sound like a boast. In that particular situation, it wasn’t what we were talking about at all. We were talking about, at that particular time in my life, do I regret anything in particular? He was talking specifically about Superman at that point. I said no, I don’t regret it. I regret some of the relationships I could have formed that I didn’t form.
And I said, for example, I was really interested in this movie that Christopher Nolan’s brother wrote and it’s called The Prestige. I went and had a meeting with them. Warner Brothers wanted me to talk about Batman. I wanted to talk about The Prestige. I don’t read my own press as much as possible. I just kind of — you have to be cautious about how you put certain things.
To set the record straight, in a nutshell, it was about relationships I wish I’d formed but because of my fear of the concept of being one thing in my career and one thing only, I decided I would just stay away from that one aspect. That was only part of what I was doing at the time.”