April 28, 2014 9:18 am

Josh Hartnett explains why he avoided superhero roles

Josh Hartnett, pictured in March 2014.

Vivien Killilea / Getty Images

TORONTO — Josh Hartnett as Spider-Man? Batman? Superman?

It could have happened.

The actor says he was approached in his 20s about playing all three superheroes on the big screen.

“I somehow knew those roles had potential to define me, and I didn’t want that,” Hartnett told Details in an interview published in the May issue.

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In the early 2000s, Hartnett starred in movies like 40 Days and 40 Nights, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor and Sin City — but he hasn’t been in a big movie since 2007’s zombie thriller 30 Days of Night.

Now 35, Hartnett said it was his choice to step out of the spotlight.

“I was on the cover of every magazine. I couldn’t really go anywhere,” he told Details. “I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I was alone. I didn’t trust anyone.”

Hartnett, who returned to his native Minnesota for several years, said he now finds himself fighting for roles.

“It’s not bad. It’s actually more rewarding,” he said. “Depressing when something doesn’t go your way, but only for a minute.”

Hartnett is currently starring in Penny Dreadful, a series for U.S. cable channel Showtime.

What would he say today if he was asked to play a caped crusader?

“I’d say ‘Let’s talk about how it would be done, see if we can get on the same page.’ Compromise doesn’t scare me anymore.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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