Josh Hartnett on His Famous Ex-Girlfriends: “Everybody Makes Mistakes Dating People They Work With”

Josh Hartnett
Josh Hartnett reflected back on romancing famous exes like Scarlett Johansson, Kirsten Dunst, and more -- find out whether he regrets dating them. Jim Spellman/WireImage.com

His brief trip down memory lane. Josh Hartnett spoke to Playboy in its May 2015 issue about dating some of Hollywood’s hottest leading ladies, including Scarlett Johansson, Kirsten Dunst, and Amanda Seyfried.

The Penny Dreadful actor, 36, who was once notorious for romancing his costars , told the mag that doing so has worked out in his favor — for the most part.

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“I think it’s a respectable way of going about it,” he said of dating his costars. “I’ve met very important people in my life doing films. Sometimes that had consequences that were just awful for everybody involved. Some were fantastic all the way through. Everybody makes mistakes dating people they work with.”

josh hartnett and julia stiles
Josh Hartnett and Julia Stiles at the premiere of their movie “O” in 2001 SGranitz/WireImage.com

Hartnett’s dating history includes romancing Save the Last Dance actress Julia Stiles in 1999, after they starred together in the drama O. He later dated his Black Dahlia costar Johansson for more than a year, with the two calling it quits in 2007. The following year, he was spotted making out with his Virgin Suicides costar Kirsten Dunst, nearly eight years after the movie was released.

josh hartnett and scar-jo
Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett in “The Blake Dahlia” Rolf Konow/Universal Studios

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josh hartnett and kirsten dunst
Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett in “The Virgin Suicides” Paramount Classics/Courtesy Everett Collection

In 2012, the Hollywood heartthrob briefly dated fellow movie star Seyfried. As previously reported by Us, he is now dating another: Tamsin Egerton, his costars on the upcoming film The Lovers.

josh hartnett and amanda seyfried
Josh Hartnett and Amanda Seyfriend grab breakfast to go in Los Feliz, CA in 2012 LRR/FameFlynet Pictures

“They’re whom I’m attracted to,” Hartnett said of his many A-list exes. “Because I share experiences with them and understand a bit about what they are and what they do. If I were able to go back in time, I don’t know if I could have done anything any different.”

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The one regret he has, however, is not working with Christopher Nolan on Batman. “I was so focused on not being pigeonholed and so scared of being considered only one thing as an actor. I should have thought, Well, then, work harder, man,” Hartnett told Playboy. “Watching Christian Bale go on to do so many other things has been just awesome. I mean, he’s been able to overcome that. Why couldn’t I see that at the time?”

Eventually, he processed the magnitude of his mistake. “You can run down the wrong paths for a very long time and without guidance. A friend of mine who was going through a similar thing started meditating. At first I was like, “‘Why do you need a mantra?”’ But it has worked wonders for him. He’s just clearer. In the middle of the hubbub, being at the center of the business, I didn’t have that time. I wasn’t able to create that space for myself,” he told the mag. “I know now that I wouldn’t turn something down just because it’s a superhero role,” he noted.

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Indeed, Hartnett spoke affectionately about his Pearl Harbor costar Ben Affleck, who is ironically the next Batman. “In what universe does Ben Affleck win an Academy Award for a best picture he starred in and directed?” he noted of the Argo director. “I knew he had it in him to do whatever he wanted to do. Ben has always been the smartest guy, but he holds that in reserve for some reason.”

As for the people who ask that question: “Whatever happened to Josh Hartnett?”

“I’m curious to see what people want of me in this business, if anything,” Hartnett reflected. “I’m very happy with my personal life—we’re just kicking the can down the road, trying to make some sense of it. I’m very open these days about what I used to feel and what I used to take away from the business when I was young and kind of in the center of it all. I’m still trying to do similar kinds of things.”

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