Josh Hartnett: Snapshot

Josh Hartnett
Date of Birth
July 21, 1978
Birth Place
St. Paul, Minn.
At the height of his hunk-dom, Josh Hartnett amassed an army of teen devotees, who couldn't get enough of the actor they dubbed "Hotnett." He made 10 films back to back, including the horror sequel Halloween H20 and the summer blockbuster Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale.

But along his meteoric rise, Hartnett shied away from the Hollywood scene, opting for his native Minnesota. Then in 2005, he began filming The Black Dahlia with Scarlett Johansson and a new Hollywood golden couple was born. Despite their star power, the couple kept their romance out of the spotlight and quietly broke up in 2007. Since then, Hartnett's returned to his horror roots with vampire flick 30 Days of Night, which was his first No. 1 opener since Sin City. The actor returned to the silver screen with Penny Dreadful in 2014.

Josh Hartnett: Five Fun Facts

  1. When Josh Hartnett turned 20 on The Virgin Suicides set, director Sofia Coppola gave him a bottle of wine from her father Francis Ford Coppola's private cellar. On the label she wrote: "Congratulations Josh – teen idol no more."
  2. Josh Hartnett turned down Superman Returns, which starred Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth. "I didn't really want to wear the tights," he joked on CBS’s The Early Show. "I didn't want to be branded for life."
  3. Josh Hartnett auditioned six times for Dawson's Creek, but wasn't cast in the WB teen drama.
  4. After helping his mom prepare dinner one night, Josh Hartnett became a vegetarian. "One day I was cutting up a chicken, and I hit a tumor with the knife," Hartnett told PETA. "There was pus and blood all over the place. That was enough for me."
  5. Josh Hartnett and Blow Dry costar Rachael Leigh Cook went to high school together in Minnesota. "I remember thinking he was really cute," Cook, who was two years behind him at South High School, told PEOPLE.

Josh Hartnett: Biography


A Lucky Break

A knee injury forces 15-year-old Hartnett off his St. Paul, Minn. high school football team – and an aunt coaxes him onto the stage. His first role: Huck Finn in Minnesota's Youth Performance Company's production of Tom Sawyer. He's so cute girls swipe his headshots. Shortly after, he's discovered by a local talent scout and models for Mervyns department stores and Northwest Airlines. "I was crazy embarrassed," Hartnett tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "You're flying across the screen in those stupid jeans, and they make you look so goofy."


Josh Hartnett

School Daze

After graduation, Hartnett works in a video store. "I watched and rewatched movies like The Usual Suspects, Trainspotting, Basquiat and 12 Monkeys," he tells the New York Times. "I said: 'People in Hollywood are doing work like that? I want to go out there.'" He attends SUNY-Purchase's theater program in New York briefly before moving to L.A. for TV pilot season, where he auditions for some 50 projects in three weeks. He lands a role on the new ABC crime series Cracker (right), which airs only nine episodes.


Josh Hartnett

August 05

Horror Hottie

Hartnett plays Jamie Lee Curtis' son in the horror sequel Halloween H20 (pictured with costar Michelle Williams). H20's co-executive producer Kevin Williamson works on another slasher flick, The Faculty, which also stars Hartnett that year. As a joint promotion, the actor, who has been dubbed "Hotnett" by fans, models jeans in a Tommy Hilfiger commercial with The Faculty cast, including Elijah Wood and Usher.

Read More on Josh Hartnett's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Debbie VanStory/Abaca

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Everett Collection; Everett Collection

Edited by Julia Wang

Josh Hartnett

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