Artful Living Magazine | Spring 2015

Page 236

spotlight || interview

Getting Into Character Artful Living chats with acclaimed actor Josh Hartnett. | BY KATE NELSON


osh Hartnett is a Minnesota man through and through: that trademark balance of debonair, down-to-earth and self-deprecating. And he’ll be the first to tell you that. The 36-year-old actor got his start on a Minneapolis stage before catapulting to Hollywood stardom. In recent years, his life has been the fodder of popular media, prompting headlines like “What Ever Happened to Josh Hartnett?” and “Josh Hartnett’s Vanishing Act.” “This idea that has been created that I’m incredibly elusive — I’m not,” he tells Artful Living. “I’m pretty boring. There’s not much aside from my job that makes me unusual.” But Hartnett’s story certainly is unusual — it’s the stuff of many a Hollywood hopeful’s dreams. At 15, the St. Paul native suffered a knee injury that left him sidelined from high-school football. His aunt subsequently encouraged him to consider drama. His first role? Huck Finn in the Youth Performance

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Company’s production of Tom Sawyer. Modeling gigs for Mervyns department store and Northwest Airlines quickly followed. By the time he graduated from Minneapolis’s South High School in 1996, he was ready to hit Hollywood. The then-18-year-old had landed gigs within two weeks of landing in Los Angeles, and he gained nearly instant heartthrob status. The actor’s early filmography reads like a study in teen culture: Halloween H20, The Faculty, The Virgin Suicides, Here on Earth. Rumor has it when he turned 20 on the set of The Virgin Suicides, director Sofia Coppola gave him a bottle of wine from father Francis Ford Coppola’s private cellar. “Congratulations, Josh,” she inscribed on the label. “Teen idol no more.” His meteoric rise continued, earning him top billings in the 2001 blockbusters Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down. That same year, he graced the cover of Vanity Fair, joining the elite ranks of stars photographed by the one, the only Annie Leibovitz.

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