Josh Hartnett was once red-hot in Hollywood, though his career has cooled considerably over the years. But according to the actor, he could have kept a sky-high profile by playing a number of different superheroes -- but turned down every cape and tights offer.
In an interview with Details in promotion of his new Showtime series, "Penny Dreadful," Hartnett confirms that he was offered the lead in Bryan Singer's 2006 Man of Steel flick "Superman Returns," and the super opportunities didn't end there.
"Spider-Man was something we talked about," Hartnett told the magazine. "Batman was another one. But I somehow knew those roles had potential to define me, and I didn't want that. I didn't want to be labeled as Superman for the rest of my career. I was maybe 22, but I saw the danger."
Shying away from such big roles put a rift between Hartnett and his agents, the actor admitted, and he said that after his star-making turns in films like "Pearl Harbor" and "Black Hawk Down," the immense pressure those roles brought him drove him away from Hollywood for a time.
"I was on the cover of every magazine," Hartnett recalled. "I couldn't really go anywhere. I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. I was alone. I didn't trust anyone. So I went back to Minnesota and got back together with my old friends--ended up getting back together with my high-school girlfriend for a while--and I didn't do any filming for 18 months. I'm still finding my way through all that."
We can't imagine that Hartnett would have relished the attention that a high-profile superhero flick would have demanded, so it makes sense that he distanced himself from those roles. Still, as Hartnett told Details, these days he's much more open to the possibility of playing a caped crusader -- especially since he no longer commands the same number of offers he did at the height of his fame.
"I'd say, 'Let's talk about how it would be done, see if we can get on the same page,'" Hartnett said of hypothetical future superhero offers. "Compromise doesn't scare me anymore."
[via: Details, h/t Defamer]