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Josh Hartnett Explains Why He Left Hollywood

Photo: Getty Images/Elisabetta Villa


Josh Hartnett Explains Why He Left Hollywood


Josh Hartnett explains that he needs to keep away from Hollywood in order to keep his sanity.

On Wednesday, the 43-year-old actor remarked on Australia’s “Sunrise” morning show that keeping “Hollywood at bay” was the “best thing” for his mental health.

“Luckily, I think I hit onto it early on in my life,” he said on an Australian morning show. “It’s about creating a good home life and being able to do things that are wild and wonderful like making films, which is such a privilege.”

In the early 2000s, Hartnett was extremely popular. He is most recognized for his appearances in “Pearl Harbor,” released in 2001, and “40 Days and 40 Nights” released in 2002.

According to IMDb, he is solely credited with working on smaller-budget movies and TV projects in recent years, such as “Penny Dreadful” and “Paradise Lost.”

Despite this, Hartnett stated in the interview that he had one regret from that period: refusing the part of cowboy Ennis Del Mar in Ang Lee’s 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, in which he was slated to play opposite Joaquin Phoenix.


Josh would have starred with Jake Gyllenhaal if he had accepted the great job offer, but after he turned it down, late Australian actor Heath Ledger took his place, and it was the film that rocketed the young star to global stardom.

“Unfortunately, I was going to do Brokeback Mountain,” Josh remarked, revealing the wasted chance.

“And I had a contract with the 2006 film Black Dahlia that I had to film, so I had to drop out of it,” he said, adding that he” had always wanted to kiss “Joaquin Phoenix, who was in talks to play his co-star at the time.

Hartnett remarked in 2014 that one of the reasons he stopped filming blockbuster movies was because he “didn’t trust anyone.”

He told Details at the time, “I was on the cover of every magazine” (via Us Weekly). “I couldn’t really go anywhere. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I was alone. I didn’t trust anyone.”

He continued: “I’m still finding my way through all that. Within two weeks. I didn’t have to struggle as an actor, although I think I’ve made up for it now. I still get offered film and TV roles, luckily, but years ago, if I saw a role I wanted, there was a good chance I could grab it. When I see a role now, I’ve got to fight for it. It’s not bad. It’s actually more rewarding. Depressing when something doesn’t go your way, but only for a minute.”

He told Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year, “I started to make smaller films, [since] films did not take me away from children very often. I didn’t really take any major breaks that were planned, I just had kids.”

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