“I was on the cover of every magazine,” the Minnesota native told the magazine of his heyday in the ’90s. “I couldn’t really go anywhere. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I was alone. I didn’t trust anyone.”
Hartnett, who stars in the upcoming Showtime horror series Penny Dreadful, said his virtual overnight success became a burden he didn’t want to bear. “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.”
The Pearl Harbor star even turned down roles that launched his contemporaries into superstardom.”Spider-Man was something we talked about. Batman was another one. But I somehow knew those roles had potential to define me, and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to be labeled as Superman for the rest of my career. I was maybe 22, but I saw the danger.”
As a result, the low-key looker has led a relatively tame existence outside of the tabloids and the Hollywood frenzy. Previously linked to Scarlett Johansson, Amanda Seyfried and Katie Holmes, the Virgin Suicides actor is currently dating British actress Tamsin Egerton.
The May issue of Details magazine is on newsstands now.