It's Time We Talk About the Josh Hartnett Renaissance: Where to Watch Him

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Don’t call it a comeback because Josh Hartnett has been a bona fide heartthrob since the late ‘90s — but there’s no denying the actor has been experiencing a major renaissance since stepping back into the spotlight over the past few years.

Hartnett first rose to fame in the horror genre, making his debut as the son of Jamie Lee Curtis in 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. He starred in The Faculty that same year, portraying a student being pursued by his alien teachers. After his role as Trip Fontaine in 1999’s The Virgin Suicides, he shifted his focus to romantic comedies, appearing in films like 40 Days and 40 Nights and Here on Earth before reaching A-list status with blockbusters like Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down.

Hartnett’s star continued to rise until the mid-2000s after he starred in Lucky Number Slevin with Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis. The actor was barely on screen for the next decade until he scored the lead role of Ethan Chandler in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, which aired from 2014 to 2016.

Hartnett first addressed his absence in 2014, telling Details magazine that his mental health began to suffer from his increased fame. “I couldn’t really go anywhere,” he told the outlet at the time. “I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I was alone. I didn’t trust anyone. I’m still finding my way through all that.”

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He continued: “Within two weeks, I didn’t have to struggle as an actor, although I think I’ve made up for it now. I still get offered film and TV roles, luckily, but years ago, if I saw a role I wanted, there was a good chance I could grab it. When I see a role now, I’ve got to fight for it. It’s not bad. It’s actually more rewarding. Depressing when something doesn’t go your way, but only for a minute.”

While his on-screen career was on hiatus, Hartnett was busy building a family with wife Tamsin Egerton, with whom he shares four children. In May 2021, Hartnett told Yahoo that his break from Hollywood was mainly about allowing himself to focus on fatherhood. “I started doing smaller films, [since] the films didn’t take me away from the kids very often,” he explained.

Ultimately, Hartnett said that keeping the industry “at bay” for a length of time was a lesson worth learning.

“Luckily, I think I hit onto it early on in my life,” he told the Australian morning show Sunrise in 2021. “It’s about creating a good home life and being able to do things that are wild and wonderful like making films, which is such a privilege.”

Now, Hartnett is ready to be back on top. He’s appeared in guest TV roles like Black Mirror and season 3 of The Bear, and made a sweeping big screen return with last summer’s Oppenheimer, which won Best Picture at the 2023 Oscars. Next month, he’ll star as a deranged father in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Trap.

Keep scrolling for all of Hartnett’s recent and upcoming projects, because the renaissance is upon us:

‘Black Mirror’ Season 6, Episode 3

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Nick Wall/Netflix

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Release date: June 2023

The synopsis: Set in retro futuristic 1969, the episode follows astronauts Cliff (Aaron Paul) and David (Hartnett) as they inhabit replicas of their bodies on Earth. After David’s family are killed, he begins to use Cliff’s replica and grows closer to Cliff’s wife Lana (Kate Mara).

Good guy or villain meter: Hartnett plays a guy who steals his colleague and friend’s life in this 80-minute long mind-bending episode. It’s not great, but he does make some compelling arguments for swiping someone else’s identity, so there’s that?


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Universal Studios

Where you can watch it: Peacock

Release Date: July 2023

The synopsis: The film follows physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) as he works on the top-secret Manhattan Project. He and a team of scientists spend years developing and designing the atomic bomb until their work comes to fruition on July 16, 1945, as they witness the world’s first nuclear explosion. Hartnett plays Ernest Lawrence, one of Oppenheimer’s colleagues. The duo have a falling out after Lawrence discovers Oppenheimer had an affair with the wife of his close friend, Richard Tolman (Tom Jenkins).

Good guy or villain meter: Well, Lawrence did help create the first nuclear bomb, so he’s not at the top of our good guy list. He’s also not an outright antagonist in the film, either. And he did have some loyalty to his friends.

‘The Bear’ Season 3, Episode 3

Where you can watch it: Hulu

Release Date: June 2024

The synopsis: Season 3 of the hit show follows Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), Syd (Ayo Edebiri) and the rest of the crew as they open the doors on their upscale restaurant, The Bear. Hartnett makes a cameo as Frank, the fiancé of Cousin Richie’s (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) ex-wife, Tiffany (Gillian Jacobs).

Good guy or villain meter: We love Frank. We live for Frank. Not only does he earnestly apologize to Richie for not running his proposal by him before getting down on one knee, he’s been good to Richie’s daughter, Eva (Annabelle Toomey). He also blares Taylor Swift at full blast. 10/10, no notes.


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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Where you can watch it: Theaters

Release Date: August 2, 2024

The synopsis: Directed by Shyamalan, Trap follows a man (Hartnett) who takes his teenage daughter (Ariel Donoghue) to a concert where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.

Good guy or villain meter: Shyamalan is known for his plot twists, but prepare for Hartnett to play the most sinister and deranged you’ve ever seen him. We’re fairly sure he’s a serial killer in this movie — at least, that’s what the trailers lead us to believe — but fingers crossed he somehow comes out a hero, instead!

‘Fight or Flight’

Where you can watch it: Theaters

Release Date: 2024

The synopsis: A mercenary (Hartnett) takes on the job of tracking down a target (Charithra Chandran) on a plane but must protect her when they’re surrounded by people trying to kill both of them.

Good guy or villain meter: TBD, but the synopsis leads Us to believe we’ll be rooting for Hartnett all the way in this one.

‘The Last Draw of Jack of Hearts’

Where you can watch it: Theaters

Release Date: TBD

The synopsis: Shot in the back and left for dead, Jack (Hartnett), a former top tog of his mercenary unit, returns to his old base in Odessa to right past wrongs and reunite with the woman he loves. But this second coming spirals ever more violently.

Good guy of villain meter: TBD, but we love a good redemption story … even if it gets a little bloody.

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