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Josh Hartnett Says He Was “Set Up To Fail” In Hollywood

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Josh Hartnett on the moment that set him up to fail

Actor Josh Hartnett recently recalled an over-the-top Vanity Fair story that ran 20 years ago that completely changed his views about Hollywood.

You may remember Hartnett from films like “The Virgin Suicides”, “Pearl Harbor” and “Black Hawk Down” but he says what should have been an exceptional career highlight turned into a “set-up-to-fail moment.”

Now 42 and living in England with his wife, Hartnett spoke with The Guardian recalling the magazine story, “Oh, that was an awful piece,” he said. “Was there even a quote from me in it, or was it just everyone talking about how hot I was? People got a chip on their shoulder about me after that. They genuinely thought I’d been thrust on them. It was a very weird time.”

Josh Hartnett on the moment that set him up to fail

“It’s just that it happened at a time when I wasn’t that famous, and it seemed to already be asking whether I should be or not. I felt like: ‘Oh my God! I’m not the tallest poppy yet—don’t cut me down!'”

The actor says the pressure that was put on him after “Pearl Harbor” made him retreat, trying to find smaller films to be a part of. “In the process, I burned my bridges at the studios because I wasn’t participating,” Hartnett said, noting that their goals “weren’t the same.”

In the past five years, Hartnett has welcomed two kids with his wife and still made recent TV appearances in “Penny Dreadful”, “Paradise Lost” and “Die Hart”.


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