Josh Hartnett rose to fame thanks to appearances in movies like The Faculty and Pearl Harbor. After launching into stardom as a teen heartthrob, the Minnesota native has settled into a successful acting career that’s lasted over twenty years. Get to know all about the actor and the Minnesotan with these Josh Hartnett facts.
1. He’s maintained roots in Minnesota throughout his career.
At the height of his fame, he left LA for Minnesota and bought a house in Minneapolis in 2002. He lived in the 5,000 square-foot home in the tony Lake of the Isles Parkway neighborhood until selling in 2015, reportedly to downsize to a smaller home in the Twin Cities area.
2. He was almost a superhero.
One of the most interesting Josh Hartnett facts was that he turned down the chance to be Spider-man, Superman, and Batman. After landing on the Hollywood A-list, he was offered the lead in Superman Returns, which he turned down. He also said that he was offered the main role in Spider-Man and Batman. He turned down both, saying that he didn’t want to be pigeonholed.
3. He was so close to being an Oscar nominee.
Of all the roles Josh turned down, the loss that stung the most was the part of Ennis in Brokeback Mountain. He had to drop out due to commitments to The Black Dahlia. Heath Ledger was cast instead and scored a Best Actor nomination.
4. He gives back to his home state.
Despite his Hollywood profile, Josh has never forgotten his roots. He has used his celebrity to support causes in Minnesota. In 2020, he was part of a campaign with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office to get people to vote from home and stop the spread of COVID.
5. He owes his career to a busted knee.
One of the more surprising Josh Hartnett facts was how his interest in acting began. When Josh’s high school football career ended abruptly thanks to a knee injury, his aunt suggested he look into theater. His first role was playing Huckleberry Finn in a local production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and he was officially bit by the acting bug.
6. He was a model.
Josh booked several modeling gigs as a teenager, but it’s not surprising considering how handsome he is. Josh modeled for the department store Mervyn’s and the old airport Northwest Airlines. Josh continues to model to this day, shooting a campaign in 2022 for online retailer Farfetch.
7. He had incredible luck in Hollywood.
One of the more unique Josh Hartnett facts is how quickly his career began. We know that Josh hit it big in Hollywood, but the speed with which he broke into the biz is incredible. He booked his first acting gig within two weeks of landing in Los Angeles, an unheard amount of time.
8. He received the coolest gift for his twentieth birthday.
Josh turned twenty on the set of The Virgin Suicides, the debut feature of Sofia Coppola, daughter of Godfather film director, Francis Ford Coppola. To celebrate, she gifted him a bottle of wine from her father’s famed vineyard. The bottle was inscribed: Congratulations, Josh. Teen idol no more.
9. He loves working with Oscar-friendly directors.
After taking some time away from Hollywood, Josh was lured back with a starring role in the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, executive produced by Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes. Mendes isn’t the first Oscar-nominated director he’s collaborated with. He’s worked with Sofia Coppola, Ridley Scott, and most recently Christopher Nolan.
10. Josh dabbled in other arts besides moviemaking.
During downtime from acting projects, he’s scratched his creative itch with painting, photography, and writing short stories. He’d contemplated writing and directing a feature before ultimately deciding acting was what he wanted to focus on.
11. His name is a book title.
Bruce Beresford, director of films Driving Miss Daisy and Double Jeopardy, titled his 2010 autobiography Josh Hartnett Definitely Wants to Do This … True Stories From A Life In The Screen Trade. It’s unclear if Josh read it. But that’s quite a high honor!
12. He met his wife in the most ironic of ways.
One of the more romantic Josh Hartnett facts is how he met his wife. In a funny twist, Josh and his actress wife Tamsin Egerton met on the set of the movie The Lovers. They really fulfilled the promise of that title. After being a couple since 2011, and having three children, they made it official and got married in London in 2021 in a very small ceremony. The Soho room of The Old Marylebone Town Hall only seats twelve people total.
13. He and his family live a lowkey life.
Josh prides himself on staying away from Hollywood glitz. He and his family don’t live in Los Angeles, splitting their time between Minnesota and England. They avoid red carpets and Hollywood parties. There’s nothing more lowkey than grabbing a burger.
14. Josh is a big fan of local Twin Cities cuisine.
According to an interview with Artful Living, Josh loves to make the rounds of the Minneapolis food scene when he’s in town. His favorite places to frequent are 112 Eatery, Bar La Grassa, Tilia, Lucia’s, and The Bachelor Farmer. He and his wife were once spotted at The Bachelor Farner’s annual Kräftskiva block party. If you’re looking for great food in the Minneapolis area, as well as a possible Josh Hartnett sighting, check out The 22 Best Restaurants in Minneapolis.
15. Josh loves Korean food.
While he loves a good burger, he has a special place in his stomach for Korean. He frequents Korean food places whenever he works in New York. His palette for the cuisine is so refined that he impressed his South Korean co-star Lee Byung-hun during a dinner with his ordering skills.
That’s a Wrap on Josh Hartnett Facts
Josh Hartnett has had an interesting career. At the height of his superstardom, he walked away to focus on family and himself, finding respite in Minnesota. He’s continued to act and stay on the public’s radar, but he’s shown that his priority is to his wife, children, and staying grounded.
Discover more amazing actors, actresses, and musicians hailing from the North Star State on our Minnesota People page!