Appearing in the favorite horror movie Halloween H20 (1998), he struck gold with all the adolescent demographic. Shortly after, he appeared in The Faculty (1998).
Having a chain of big-budget titles to his credit, Hartnett has emerged in the packed ranks of late-90s teen heartthrobs to develop into a sought after leading man.
Although produced in California, Hartnett was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his first love was football. Following a knee injury sidelined the tall, clean cut teen, he was motivated by his aunt to take up performing. Despite an acting resume that contained exclusively local theatre productions as well as a single advertisement, Hartnett took off for Los Angeles soon after graduating from high school.
With unprecedented speed, he got his first job, a part in the television series Cracker (1997). Even though the show was short lived, the exposure resulted in his first feature role. Playing Jamie Lee Curtis’ son in the favorite horror movie Halloween H20 (1998), Hartnett struck gold with all the adolescent demographic. Shortly after, he appeared in The Faculty (1998), another blood and guts thriller that played on his all American good looks.
In a surprising departure from such increasingly successful adolescent fare, Hartnett appeared in Sophia Coppola’s decidedly mature investigation of adolescent sexuality in The Virgin Suicides (1999). His nuanced portrayal of Excursion, a sexually precocious 1970s seducer brought critical notice.
Even though the flamboyant, special effects driven movie got just a lukewarm critical reception, Hartnett shortly found himself in more military menu, this time in Black Hawk Down (2001), Ridley Scott’s controversial portrayal of U.S. engagement in Somalia.
Hartnett continued to work with various movie projects, including law enforcement buddy comedy Hollywood Homicide (2003) with Harrison Ford to the thriller Sin City (2005). Recently, he returned to television. Hartnett plays Ethan Chandler about the horror show Penny Dreadful, which debuted in 2014. He’d formerly appeared on the offense show Cracker in the late 1990s.