All you really need to know about the new cop comedy Hollywood Homicide (opening June 13) is that the mismatched partners and imminent buddies are played by 61-year-old Harrison Ford and 25-year-old Josh Hartnett. Despite the utterly formulaic trappings of the plot, both actors seem to be enjoying the opportunity to poke fun at their ordinarily straight-faced screen personas.
Hartnett, the brooding heartthrob of The Virgin Suicides, O and Pearl Harbor (among a half-dozen others), has his funniest scene near the end, when his character decides to follow his "bliss" by becoming an actor and offering a truly awful rendition of Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire. He spoke about the movie and his budding career during a recent interview.
Creative Loafing: When did you decide you wanted to act?
Josh Hartnett: If you want to know the truth, I still haven't decided. I was about 16 when I first started doing theater [in his native Minneapolis], and then I moved to New York to go to school [at SUNY Purchase]. I originally went to study visual arts, but it seemed like I was naturally drawn to the theater program. I just liked the people. It looked like they were having a good time and growing, you know?
Are you growing?
Well, I'd like to think I am. Hollywood is a lot different from a little school in New York, where you're allowed to explore yourself. Here, you're under the microscope all the time. You don't feel as free. But, yeah, I feel like I'm growing.
What was the appeal of Hollywood Homicide?
One was Harrison Ford. I grew up on his movies, and he's always been an idol of mine. I was a little nervous about meeting him, but getting to know him was great. And I really learned a lot from him.
He's the perfect example of someone who knows how to make his own rules and how to stick to his own principles. He's had a success and longevity beyond the comprehension of most people in this fickle business. Somehow he's managed to stay on top, and I think it's because he only does exactly what he feels like he should be doing at any given time.
A lot of the comedy of the movie thrives on the difference between your two characters. What's the biggest difference between the two of you as actors?
I'm of a different school, I guess, because I like trying to do as many different things as possible, so no one will ever be able to peg me or pigeonhole me. If people start thinking you're a nice guy, show up for an interview an hour late -- that sort of thing. I like keeping people on their toes.
Was doing this sort of broad comedy the sort of "growing" experience you alluded to earlier?
I'd taken a year off after doing Black Hawk Down, just to kind of re-evaluate my life. After spending five months filming in Morocco, I didn't know which end was up, really. You know, people over there are dealing with so many hardships, and it really put some things in perspective for me. We came back home to the terrorist attacks of 9-11, and then everybody started hating people from that part of the world. On the one hand, that's understandable. But on the other hand, I'd think about my experiences there, and it's like, "How can you hate people who have so little?" It really put some things in perspective for me. What am I doing being an actor when there are so many other more important things going on in the world? Anyway, that's just a roundabout way of saying -- no matter how absurd it sounds -- that when the opportunity to do Hollywood Homicide came along, it suited what I was feeling right then. I liked all the counter-action with the Harrison Ford character, and I related to my own character, because he isn't sure what he wants to be doing, either. Does he want to be a cop? A yoga instructor? An actor?
Do you have any burning desire to play Stanley Kowalski?
What are you talking about? Thanks to this movie, I've already done it!
Modus Operandi of fbi: drive a person to neuroses, or insanity; set him up for…
In the latest 'Emory Looks at Hollywood' episode, Judith Evans Grubbs, Emory Professor of Roman…
"In the movies' worst scene..." should be "movie's"
--freelance copy editor, available for hire
I saw this headline before watching the movie yesterday, but this movie was way better…