"I've definitely said no to some of the wrong people," Hartnett said in an interview with Playboy

By Alex Heigl
Updated April 17, 2015 08:20 AM
Credit: Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Josh Hartnett is enjoying acclaim for his role on the horror series Penny Dreadful, but he told Playboy that he’s got some regrets about how he handled his first brushes with fame in the early 2000s – and they’re mostly Batman-related.

“The intensity of my sudden fame was overwhelming for me,” Hartnett said of his career after Pearl Harbor and Blackhawk Down. “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’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people,” he continued. “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.”

“I was so focused on not being pigeonholed and so scared of being considered only one thing as an actor,” Hartnett elaborated. “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?”

“I know now that I wouldn’t turn something down just because it’s a superhero role,” he concludes. Of course, superhero movies hadn’t become quite the box-office-conquering juggernaut they are now back when Christopher Nolan was ramping up to do his first Batman film, so Hartnett could be forgiven for being skittish. Hindsight, after all, is 20/20, especially when you’re not looking through a Batman mask.