Josh Hartnett

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Josh Hartnett
Josh Hartnett SDCC 2014.jpg
Hartnett at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Born Joshua Daniel Hartnett
(1978-07-21) July 21, 1978 (age 36)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Residence Los Angeles, California, USA
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 1997–present

Joshua Daniel "Josh" Hartnett (born July 21, 1978) is an American actor and producer. He first came to attention in 1997 for his role as Michael Fitzgerald in the television crime drama series Cracker. He made his feature film debut in 1998 in the slasher film Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, followed by teen roles in films such as the sci-fi horror film The Faculty (1998) and the drama The Virgin Suicides (1999). Hartnett had starring roles in the epic war film Pearl Harbor, the drama O, and the war film Black Hawk Down (all 2001), and the romantic comedy 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002).

He starred in the Brian De Palma-directed neo noir crime thriller The Black Dahlia (2006), but it was a commercial and critical failure. Next, he appeared in the drama Resurrecting the Champ (2007), alongside Samuel L. Jackson, and in the graphic novel-based vampire horror film 30 Days of Night (2007). He starred in the neo-noir atmospheric thriller I Come with the Rain (2009). He currently stars as Ethan Chandler in the horror TV series Penny Dreadful.

Early life[edit]

Hartnett was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota,[1] the son of Wendy Anne (née Kronstedt) and Daniel Thomas Hartnett. He was raised by his father, a building manager, and his stepmother, Molly, an artist.[2] He has three younger half-siblings, through his father's remarriage: Jessica, Jake and Joe. His father is of half Irish (Dingle peninsula) and half German ancestry, and his mother is of Swedish and Norwegian descent.[3] Hartnett was raised Roman Catholic,[4] attending Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School, where he played Adam Apple in an eighth grade production of "Krazy Kamp". He later attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School before transferring to South High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from which he graduated in June 1996.

Hartnett was active in sports as a child, especially football, and did not entertain the thought of becoming a performer until an injury left him unable to participate on the athletic playing field. A relative encouraged him to audition for a stage production of Tom Sawyer at Youth Performance Company, and to Hartnett's surprise, he won the part of Huckleberry Finn. He fell in love with acting and went on to star in a slew of high school plays. He got his first job at a local video store. He became a vegetarian at the age of 12 but ate meat during the shooting of The Black Dahlia for his role as a boxer.[citation needed]


After finishing high school, a move to New York to attend the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film at SUNY Purchase did not go as well as Hartnett had hoped for, and a year later at age 19, he found himself in California.[5] Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, he caught an improbable break, landing a part in the short-lived but acclaimed drama Cracker, on ABC. Although the series was cancelled after sixteen episodes, Hartnett had made a name for himself. He then began to focus on feature film work. He performed in small plays and on national television commercials before being cast in his first feature film, playing the son of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Released on August 5, 1998, it performed well at the box office.

Hartnett developed a film career, having appeared in Hollywood films, including The Faculty, Black Hawk Down, Lucky Number Slevin and Pearl Harbor. He was originally scheduled to play the role of Tino in Deuces Wild, but dropped out to star in Pearl Harbor. In 2002, he starred in O, an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Othello set in an American high school, as Hugo, the film's version of Iago. In the early 2000s, Hartnett was approached several times to play the role of Clark Kent/Superman in the early 2000s for a project originally helmed by Brett Ratner, but always turned it down, not wanting to commit to a predicted ten-year role.[6][7] Hartnett said of his decision, "It just wasn't the kind of movie I wanted to do. I turned down other superhero roles as well."

Hartnett was chosen as one of Teen People magazine's "21 Hottest Stars Under 21" in 1999, Teen People's "25 Hottest Stars under 25", and one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People", both in 2002. He was also voted Bliss magazine's "3rd Sexiest Male", and in 2003 PETA named him the Sexiest Vegetarian Alive, as chosen by voters.[8]

One of Hartnett's next films was the 2006 drama-mystery The Black Dahlia, in which he played a detective investigating the notorious real-life murder of actress Elizabeth Short. Hartnett had been cast in the role five years before the film was produced, remaining committed to appearing in the movie because he liked the subject matter.[9]

Among his 2007 roles were Resurrecting the Champ, a drama also starring Samuel L. Jackson, and the graphic novel-based 30 Days of Night, in which he played a small-town sheriff. Hartnett described the second film as "supernatural, but kind of a western". He was going to play trumpet player, Chet Baker, in the film The Prince of Cool, but did not agree with the producer's ideas and left the project.[10]

In 2008, Hartnett played Charlie Babbit alongside Adam Godley in the theatre adaptation of Barry Morrow's Academy Award-winning Rain Man at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End.[11] He starred in the new campaign of the Emporio Armani fragrance, "Diamonds for Men", being featured in both print and TV ads for the fragrance, thus becoming the first male celebrity to represent Giorgio Armani Beauty.[12]

He has been featured on many magazine covers, such as Cosmogirl, Details, Entertainment Weekly, Girlfriend, Seventeen, Vanity Fair, GQ and Vman, in addition to being in other magazines like Vogue, ELLE, People, Glamour, Intouch and InStyle.[13][14]

In 2009, Hartnett produced the video clip for the rapper Kid Cudi's song Pursuit of Happiness.[15]

In 2013, Hartnett was a guest of honor on Off Plus Camera 2013[16]

In 2015 he played the part of Ethan Chandler in the second season, of the Gothic horror series Penny Dreadful[17], shot in locations around Dublin and Ireland.[18]

Regarding fame, Hartnett has said, "I know what it's like to be in that whole world. I was up there for a couple of years, and it was uncomfortable. I think trying to stay at the top is a shortcut to unhappiness." Hartnett also took a break from acting, saying "I spent a bit of time really thinking about whether this was the right thing for me."[19] 2


Hartnett has been involved in various causes. In 2007, he took time out from filming to support the green lifestyle campaign of Global Cool.[10]

In 2011, Hartnett became one of a handful of celebrities attached to USAID and Ad Council's FWD campaign, an awareness initiative tied to that year's East Africa drought. He joined Uma Thurman, Chanel Iman and Geena Davis in TV and internet ads to "forward the facts" about the crisis.[20]

In 2012, Hartnett also joined Barack Obama in his campaign in Minnesota, appearing at such events as the Minnesota Greater Together Youth Summit before formally endorsing the President on the official campaign YouTube channel.[21] He along with Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak also appeared at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center for an Obama Q&A in April.[22]

Partial Filmography[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Debutante Bill Short film
1998 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later John Tate Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Male Newcomer
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Male Performance
1998 Faculty, TheThe Faculty Zeke Tyler Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
1999 Virgin Suicides, TheThe Virgin Suicides Trip Fontaine
2000 Here on Earth Jasper Arnold Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout Performance
2001 Same, TheThe Same The Neighbor Short film
2001 Member Gianni Short film
2001 Short6 Gianni A compilation of six cinematic shorts
2001 Blow Dry Brian Allen
2001 Town & Country Tom Stoddard
2001 Pearl Harbor Cpt Danny Walker Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Actor
Nominated — Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (with Ben Affleck)
2001 O Hugo Goulding
2001 Black Hawk Down Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Acting Ensemble (shared with the cast)
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Actor, Drama/Action Adventure
2002 40 Days and 40 Nights Matt Sullivan Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry (shared with Shannyn Sossamon)
2003 Zéro Un The Neighbor A compilation of ten cinematic shorts produced by Luc Besson
2003 Hollywood Homicide K.C. Calden
2004 Wicker Park Matthew Simon
2005 Stories of Lost Souls The Neighbor
2005 Sin City The Salesman
2005 Mozart and the Whale Donald Morton
2006 Lucky Number Slevin Slevin Kelevra Won - Best Acting Performance Male (tied with Peter Falk) - 2006 Milan International Film Festival[23]
2006 Black Dahlia, TheThe Black Dahlia Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert
2007 Stories USA Gianni
2007 Resurrecting the Champ Erik Kernan
2007 30 Days of Night Sheriff Eben Oleson Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Actor, Horror/Thriller
2008 T Takes Josh Web series
2008 August Tom Sterling
2009 I Come with the Rain Kline
2010 Bunraku The Drifter
2011 Girl Walks into a Bar Sam Salazar
2011 Stuck Between Stations Paddy
2013 The Lovers James Stewart/Jay Fennel
2014 Parts per Billion Len
2015 Wild Horses
Year Title Role Notes
2008 24 Hour Plays main man Annual fundraiser at the Old Vic theatre involving actors, writers and directors joining forces to create and present a series of six plays all within a day[24]
2008 Rain Man Charlie Babbitt Won - The Dewynters London Newcomer of the Year // WhatsOnStage Awards The Theatregoers' Choice[25]
Year Title Role Notes
1997–99 Cracker Michael "Fitz" Fitzgerald 16 episodes, main character
2014 Penny Dreadful Ethan Chandler Main character
Music videos
Year Title Artist Notes
1999 "Playground Love" Air The Virgin Suicides soundtrack
2001 "There You'll Be" Faith Hill Pearl Harbor soundtrack
2007 "Travelin' Soldier" Dixie Chicks Pearl Harbor soundtrack
2010 "Pursuit of Happiness" Kid Cudi Producer


Year Title Notes
2008 August Spectrum - 2008 Sundance Film Festival[26]
Contemporary World Cinema - 2008 Seattle International Film Festival[27]
Narrative Feature Films - 2008 Brooklyn International Film Festival[28]
Horizons - 2008 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival[29]
International Section - 2008 Oldenburg International Film Festival
World Cinema - 2008 Flanders International Film Festival Ghent
Spirit Of Freedom: Dramatic - 2008 Bahamas International Film Festival[30]
2009 Nobody Executive producer

Other awards & nominations[edit]

  • Won - Ischia International Arts Academy Acting Award // Ischia Global Film & Music Fest, Italy[31]
  • Won - GQ Männer des Jahres (GQ Men of the Year) // GQ magazine, Germany[33]


  1. ^ Boehm, Kristin (2007-10-18). "Josh Hartnett Dodges Kissing Questions - Caught in the Act". People. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  2. ^ "Josh Hartnett Biography (1978-)". July 23, 2008. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  3. ^ "Man of Style". September 1, 2004. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  4. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (2002-03-04). "No Joshin': Hartnett Can't Do It". People. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  5. ^ "Josh Hartnett: American Idol". Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  6. ^ Murray, Rebecca (2010-06-17). "Interview with Josh Hartnett, From "Wicker Park"". Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  7. ^ The MovieWeb Team (2003-04-22). "Josh Hartnett up for SUPERMAN...again?". Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  8. ^ "PETA's sexiest vegetarian celebrities of 2011". Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  9. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Exclusive Interview with The Black Dahlia Star Josh Hartnett". Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  10. ^ a b "Global Cool is hot on carbon emissions". The Times (London). May 12, 2007. Retrieved Feb 1, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Rain Man Promo Trailer featuring Josh Hartnett and Adam Godley". WestEndTheatre. October 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  12. ^ "Armani signs Josh Hartnett for new fragrance campaign". 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  13. ^ "Magazine: 1997 - 2004". Lucky Number Josh. July 23, 2008. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  14. ^ "Magazine: 2005 - 2007". Lucky Number Josh. July 23, 2008. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  15. ^ "Kid Cudi Hooks Up With Drake, Josh Hartnett For New Video". MTV (Steven Roberts). November 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  16. ^ "Roland Joffe and Volker Schlondorff Lead Panels at Off Plus Camera 2013". 
  17. ^ "Josh Hartnett Taps Into His Dark Side in this Penny Dreadful Season 2". DC. 2 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "Josh Harnett is in Dublin shooting scenes for Penny Dreadful - Dublin looks magnificent". 2 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "He'll stay out of limelight". Evening Chronicle. September 10, 2004. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  20. ^ "Dr. Jill Biden Joins USAID and Ad Council to Debut FWD Campaign for the Crisis in the Horn of Africa". PR Newswire. October 26, 2011.
  21. ^ "Josh Hartnett helps out Team Obama". 
  22. ^
  23. ^ MIFF Awards Winners in the past - 2006 / Sixt Edition, Milan International Film Festival
  24. ^ "Hartnett is main man in Old Vic's 24 Hour Plays". London Evening Standard (Louise Jury). November 11, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Winners Announced In The Ninth Annual WhatsOnStage Awards". Awards (Bandwidth Communications Ltd). 2009. Retrieved February 22, 2010. 
  26. ^ 2008 Online Film Guide[dead link], Sundance International Film Festival
  27. ^ The Festival - Films & Events, Seattle International Film Festival
  28. ^ 2008 Edition - Category Feature / Film Details, Brooklyn Film Festival Film Library
  29. ^ History - Film Archive, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
  30. ^ "Bahamas Festival to close with Spike Lee's Miracle Of St Anna". Screen Daily (Jeremy Kay). November 13, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Josh Hartnett To Receive The 2010 Ischia Acting Awards". Absolute Josh Hartnett. June 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  32. ^ "The 2009 Doha 21st Century Leaders Awardees". October 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  33. ^ "GQ Männer des Jahres 2007 ceremony". Vanity Fair online. October 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-25. [dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Beresford, Bruce (2007). Josh Hartnett Definitely Wants to Do This, and Other Lies from a Life in the Screen Trade. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-7322-8439-8. 
  • Matthews, Emma (2003). The Josh Hartnett Album. Plexus Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85965-324-4. 
  • Lanum, Lorelei (2002). Josh Hartnett, American Idol. Touchstone. ISBN 978-0-7432-4273-8. 

External links[edit]