Do you remember that hunky guy who you’d hope he’d get his top off during celluloid? The one that had the spat with Harrison Ford? The one that popped up in Sin City? The person who made Pearl Harbor… actually wait… nobody could make that film good. The guy who popped up in most horrors for a time? So… where is Josh Hartnett now?
Josh began his career on a television show called Cracker (the US version, not the Robbie Coltrane version). Though the show itself wasn’t all that cracked up to be (I know, awful joke), he successfully appeared in the rebooting of Halloween with Halloween: H20 as Jamie Lee Curtis’ son in 1998.
After sticking with the horror genre with The Faculty (1998) then moving onto The Virgin Suicides (1999), he then turned his hand to something a bit more different, no suicides or killers in sight. Although Blow Dry (2001) saw him twiddle with hair and play with a hair dryer.
Pearl Harbor (2001) brought Josh into the big budget blockbusters, so to speak. Directed by the man of destruction, Michael Bay, Josh played Danny Walker, who was part of a three-way love triangle between Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale. He also stuck with the military aspect of it with Ridley Scott’s gritty film Black Hawk Down (2001) playing Matt Eversmann.
He also broke out into comedy with 40 days and 40 nights (2002) and the powerful performance of Hugo (Iago basically from the Shakespeare play Othello) in the uniquely titled O (2001). But working with Harrison Ford would start a bicker.
In Hollywood Homicide (2003), a buddy cop that wasn’t so good, whether because of scripting or because both Harrison Ford and Josh Harnett didn’t get along. Rumours were that both Harrison and Josh wouldn’t have any eye contact, with Harrison calling him a “punk” and Josh calling him an “old fart”. Whether this was press for the film itself, as other interviews suggest that Josh idolised Harrison, nobody knows, except it didn’t work and it bummed at the box office.
Josh continued with Wicker Park (2004) and even appeared as The Salesman in Sin City (2005), which was more a surprise but a nice small role that only appeared in certain brief points of the film. In 2006 he won the Milan International Film Festival Best Male role (tied with Peter Falk) for his role in Lucky Number Slevin, a film which he appeared with Bruce Willis amongst others.
Since returning to horror with 40 Days of Night (2007), Josh has lost his leading man role. Performing on stage in 2008 with 24 Hour Plays and Rain Man (based on the film). Josh is set in his latest low budget film, Parts Per Billion, about three couples, due for release in 2013. Hopefully this once leading man may come back and rip off his shirt, on odd occasions.