It’s safe to say that Nolan took it to heart when Hartnett rejected the leading role in “Batman Begins.”
“I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people,” the actor admitted. “I learned my lesson when [writer-director] Christopher Nolan and I talked about ‘Batman.’ 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.” This blunder led Hartnett to a totally newfound approach to his career.
“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 explained. But time with friends and family wasn’t Hartnett’s only concern — he was also scared of being typecast as a superhero.
“I was so focused on not being pigeonholed and so scared of being considered only one thing as an actor,” Hartnett recalled. “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?”