No Joshin': Hartnett Can't Do It

03/04/2002 at 11:00 AM EST

This weekend's No. 2 movie, "40 Days and 40 Nights," stars the No. 1 young heartthrob, Josh Hartnett. Critics were all over the map with this one, calling its premise about a guy who gives up sex for Lent either funny or disgusting and saying just about the same thing about the story's execution. As for Hartnett, 23, who can also be seen in the multi-Oscar-nominated "Black Hawk Down," the Minnesota native is definitely no Method actor. He's told reporters that, unlike his "40 Days" character, San Francisco dot-comer Matt Sullivan, he's not one to abstain for Lent. "I tried to see what it was like to have absolutely no contact with a woman for a while," says Hartnett, as quoted by the Associated Press. "It wasn't exactly 40 days and 40 nights, it was a little bit less. I succeeded in getting as far as I got. My goal was 40 days and 40 nights, but it didn't go that far. I'm not crazy enough I guess." As for the critics of the movie, Hartnett says that those who are offended should get over it. "I grew up Catholic," he said. "I think it's pretty funny. My grandma, I told her the plot, and she's very religious and she thinks it's pretty hilarious." He added, "It's a comedy . . . It's not like trying to reinvent Christianity." And just how Catholic is Hartnett? As he confessed: "I'm kind of an ex-Catholic. I went to Catholic school. I really kind of have minimal religion right now. I'm kind of a spiritual person, but not all that religious."

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