JOSH HARTNETT TAKES INDIE FILMS AND BLOCKBUSTERS IN HIS
BY CHRIS BETROS
JOSH HARTNETT JOKES THAT IF HE HADNT
BECOME AN actor, he would have been an architect, painter
or just a bum. As he chats, the 26-year-old star comes across
as fairly laid back about his profession. Its all the
same to him whether he is in a blockbuster like Pearl Harbor
or a smaller, quirky film like his latest, Wicker Park. Theres
more freedom in smaller films, he says, trying to fight
off jet lag. Decisions are made on the set and not in
boardrooms and you get more control over your own character.
Directed by Briton Paul McGuigan (Gangster No. 1), Wicker
Park is a loose remake of a 1996 French film called LAppartement,
but transplanted to snowy Chicago. Two years after a failed
relationship left him devastated, an investment banker (Hartnett)
tries to pick up the pieces of his life. He is engaged to
another woman and things seem OK until one day he becomes
obsessed with a woman he spots in a café, who he is
sure is his old flame.
Thats just the beginning, says Hartnett,
with a twinkle in his puppy-dog eyes. This movie doesnt
fall into a specific genre. Its a love story, a whodunit,
and suspense drama rolled into one. Its something all
audiences can relate to. Weve all been there.
Does that mean Hartnett believes in love at first sight? I
believe in the spark that creates love, yes, but love is an
ever-evolving thing. However, I dont think you just
spot someone in a café and fall in love.
Born in St Paul, Minnesota, Hartnett got his start in 1998
in teen horror films like Halloween H20 and The Faculty. He
followed those up with The Virgin Suicides, Pearl Harbor and
Black Hawk Down, among others. Most recently, he appeared
with Harrison Ford in the forgettable Hollywood Homicide.
Im trying to do as many different films as I can,
he says. I only have one acting philosophyadherence
to the truth of the character in a situation. Sometimes a
good actor can work really hard and yet seem out of place.
Co-starring with Hartnett in Wicker Park are Rose Byrne and
Diane Kruger, both of whom recently appeared in Troy. We
cast them first, so we should get credit for discovering them,
he jokes. We had great chemistry on the set. I gotta
tell you that working with those two ladies made it hard on
my current relationship. But its all for the good of
the film, right?
Next up for Hartnett is Sin City, a violent urban drama directed
by Robert Rodriguez and co-starring Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke
and Benicio Del Toro. That will be followed by Lucky Slugger,
again with Willis, Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley. M
HÔTEL COSTES 7 PARTY
THE ORBIENT HOSTS DJ STEPHANE POMPOUGNAC TO CELEBRATE THE
LATEST SCHMOOZATHON FROM THE ULTRA-CHIC PARIS HOTEL
|Clockwise from top left:
DJ Raphael Sebbag; The Orbient groupies; Cabaret Femme;
DJ Stephane Pompougnac; Cabaret Garçon; The Orbients
ALTHOUGH KEN SHIDA BLENDS IN WITH THE LUNCHTIME
crowd at Tokyo Main Dining, the restaurant at the heart of
the impressive new Shidax headquarters in Shibuya (03-5428-5031),
hes no ordinary patron. Shida is, in fact, the president
of the karaoke and food services company founded by his father,
which now has over 14,000 eponymous karaoke rooms nationwide.
And, as he tells Metropolis, hes thinking even bigger.
WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY?
My philosophy is to destroy and create health. By that, I
mean destroy the usual mindset and create a new style of healthy
life and healthy Earth.
WHY ARE WE SEEING PROBLEMS IN MANY INDUSTRIES OVER PRODUCT
There have always been food quality control problems, but
they werent big news before. It was covered up. However,
times have changed. In this Internet era, you cant cover
YOUR KARAOKE FACILITIES HERE ARE VERY STATE-OF-THE-ART,
The idea is to breathe new life into karaoke because the 1990s
karaoke boom has passed. Nowadays, karaoke is more for real
fans. We see two kinds of customers: those who want to sing
and those who dont sing but want to have a private room
with food for their enjoyment.
WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?
My next goal is to make [our coffee shop] Craightons
a strong competitor to Starbucks. Right now it is small. We
only have two outlets. UCC started Craightons but they
decided not to expand, so we bought it.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING?
I like deep-sea fishing for swordfish in Izu, Shizuoka.
DO YOU THINK YOULL STAY PRESIDENT FOR LIFE?
A company always needs new blood. My father started the company,
so I know. In this business, you have to have strength and
energy, so I dont think I can keep doing this forever.
My father retired, changed his lifestyle and then took on
a completely new job. Ill probably do the same.
BUT DONT YOU THINK OF THE COMPANY AS YOUR BABY?
Ill have to find another baby. ST M
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