Josh Hartnett looked set for a long Hollywood career before turning his back on Tinseltown in the mid-2000s.
And on Wednesday, the American actor revealed the real reason he stepped away from a big budget film career and took a more artistic path.
“It was the best thing for my mental health and my career to keep Hollywood at bay,” Hartnett, 43, told Channel Seven’s Sunrise.
Revealed: Josh Hartnett (pictured) revealed the real reason he turned his back on Hollywood at the height of his career in the mid-2000s
“Fortunately, I think I understood this very early in my life: it’s about creating a good life at home and being able to do crazy and wonderful things like making movies, which is such a privilege” , he added.
It comes after Hartnett revealed the one role he regrets turning down early in his Hollywood career.
He was offered a role in the award-winning 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, which was eventually reprized by the late Australian actor Heath Ledger.
“Unfortunately, I was going to do Brokeback Mountain,” Hartnett said.
Take a step back: “It was the best thing for my sanity and my career to keep Hollywood at bay,” Hartnett told Channel Seven’s Sunrise. Photographed with Brian Van Holt (left) in Black Hawk Down
‘And I had a contract with the [2006 film] Black Dahlia that I had to film, so I had to give up, ”he continued.
He explained that he was originally intended to star in the romantic drama with Joaquin Phoenix.
This was quickly replaced by Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, both of whom received multiple awards and separate nods at the 2006 Oscars.
The film received six other Oscar nominations and numerous accolades around the world.
Harnett said he has no regrets for some of the huge roles he has turned down in the past, including playing Superman in a three picture contract and Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
Grounded: “I think I figured it out early in life: it’s about creating a good life at home and being able to do wild and wonderful things like making movies, which is such a privilege,” he explained.
But he admits there is a bit of regret for Brokeback Mountain, joking that he “always wanted to kiss Joaquin.”
Hartnett made his debut in the 2001 war films Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down.
He’s turned to independent films in recent years, starring in Ida Red and Target Number One, but he’s also made appearances in bigger productions such as Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man.
One of Hartnett’s most renowned lead roles was in the hit horror drama series Penny Dreadful, which ran from 2014 to 2016.
Reflection: This comes after Hartnett revealed the one role he regrets turning down early in his Hollywood career: playing one of the lead roles on Brokeback Mountain in 2005