Josh Hartnett thinks Hollywood studios wanted him to become a "brand".

Josh Hartnett

Josh Hartnett

The 42-year-old actor was one of the most in-demand performers in the movie business in his early 20s, but Josh made a conscious decision to retreat from big-budget productions and pursue "smaller films" instead.

The actor - who starred in 2001's 'Pearl Harbor' and 'Black Hawk Down' - explained: "[Hollywood studios] looked at me as someone who had bitten the hand that fed me. It wasn’t that. I wasn’t doing it to be recalcitrant or a rebel.

"People wanted to create a brand around me that was going to be accessible and well-liked, but I didn’t respond to the idea of playing the same character over and over, so I branched out.

"I tried to find smaller films I could be part of and, in the process, I burned my bridges at the studios because I wasn’t participating. Our goals weren’t the same."

Josh was offered the role of Superman earlier in his career, but his ambitions for the character didn't chime with the film studio.

Josh - who now lives in Surrey, south-east England, with actress Tamsin Egerton - told the Guardian newspaper: "I had this idea that because he lives in this world where he can’t touch anything without it flying across the room, he has become almost afraid of himself and his own power.

"He doesn’t know how to be Superman any more. He’s so afraid, he has become almost neutered by the experience of living on Earth, where he can blow things up just by looking at them."

However, the actor's idea was rebuffed by the studio.

He said: "They didn’t really want a fear-based character at the centre of their movie."

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