Josh Hartnett on Constantly Dating Co-Stars: 'Everybody Makes Mistakes Dating People They Work With'

by Antoinette Bueno 11:04 AM PDT, April 16, 2015
Photo: Playboy

Josh Hartnett has been known to drequently date his co-stars in real-life -- most famously Scarlett Johansson after The Black Dahlia, Julia Stiles after O, and Kirsten Dunst after The Virgin Suicides -- and in a new interview with Playboy, the 36-year-old actor says he has no regrets.

"I think it's a respectable way of going about it. I've met very important people in my life doing films," he explains. "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 is reportedly currently in a relationship with actress Tamsin Egerton, whom he stars with in the yet-to-be-released The Lovers.

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"They're whom I’m attracted to because I share experiences with them and understand a bit about what they are and what they do," he adds about his leading ladies. "If I were able to go back in time, I don't know if I could have done anything any different."

Josh seems to have changed his tune since last April, when he told ELLE that he doesn't recommend dating co-stars.

"You can make a lot of enemies in the business that way," he said. "But when you work with somebody every day, it's like trial dating. You develop a fantasy about them. It doesn't always work out, does it?"

Photo: Playboy

In the candid new Playboy interview, Josh also opens up about making a huge career mistake. Poised to be a huge superstar in the early 2000s with roles in blockbusters like Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor, he unexpectedly took a long break from Hollywood. Though Josh has talked openly about surprisingly turning down huge superhero roles like Superman, Spider-Man and Batman before, he gets into more detail with the magazine.

"I've definitely said no to some of the wrong people," he tells the magazine. "I said no because I was tired and wanted to spend more time with my friends and family. That’s frowned upon in this industry. People don't like being told no. I don't like it."

In particular, he talks about souring his relationship with critically acclaimed director Christopher Nolan.

"I learned my lesson when Christopher Nolan and I talked about Batman," he admits. "I decided it wasn't for me. Then he didn't want to put me in The Prestige. They not only hired their Batman for it, they also hired my girlfriend at the time."

He’s referring of course to Christian Bale and Scarlett Johansson, whom he dated for more than a year before splitting in 2007. After starring in box office bombs like Lucky Number Slevin and The Black Dahlia in 2006 -- the same year Prestige came out -- Josh definitely felt some regret.

"That's when I realized relationships were formed in the fire of that first Batman film and I should have been part of the relationship with this guy Nolan, who I felt was incredibly cool and very talented," he says. "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.' 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?"

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But Josh is currently making his comeback on the small screen, starring in the supernatural horror series Penny Dreadful. Watch the video below to find out more about the cast.