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Issue IX

Shortly after graduating high school, Josh Hartnett was accepted into the State University of New York’s prestigious acting conservatory. He was kicked out six months later.

Frustrated with what he perceived to be unrealistic expectations, he wrote to the dean of the program telling him that constant evaluations were strangling the students’ creativity. The dean, he says, responded by asking him to leave.

Years later, Harnett is reclining on a leather couch in a non-descript photo studio in West Hollywood, talking about stepping-stones. There’s this idea that every experience, whether positive or negative, propels you closer to your goal, he explains. Still, “you want the stepping stones to also be worth being part of.”

It’s late in the afternoon and Hartnett is restless. He’s been filming the colonial drama, Singularity, in Australia, but is in town for a few weeks “takings meetings.” Hartnett hasn’t lived in L.A. for a few years now (he splits his time between an apartment in New York and his hometown of Saint Paul, Minnesota) so he’s spent the past few weeks living out of a room at the Chateau Marmont.

“You wanna do this at the Chateau?” he asks, though it’s not clear if he’s asking more for him or for us. We decide to stay in the quieter and paparazzi-free confines of the studio that we have rented for the day’s shoot.

Hartnett is 32 and handsome; no longer the boyish heartthrob with moppish hair that graced teen magazine covers and posters at the on-set of his career, but not exactly grizzled and graying at the sides Brad Pitt-style either. On this day, he’s arrived in a loose-fitting Henley top, dark jeans and black boots, with a pair of gold-rimmed Ray-Bans dangling from his collar. He’s also wearing a knit “beanie,” which has become an unintended signature of sorts for him over the years. You get the impression the hat is more to help him keep a low profile than to make any kind of fashion statement.

“I’ve taken a couple years off from acting in film,” Hartnett says, as if to confirm the sentiment. “For a while now, I’ve been kind of uninspired to act.”

(Tim Chan)

- To read the rest of this story, pick up Issue 9 of Corduroy

Rebecca Hall has a hole in her shoe. Even worse is that it comes on a rainy day in New York City. And so because of her inferior footwear, she got a soaker. “I went out in the rain and got a very damp foot. It’s the only annoyance of the rain,” she explains.

The London-born actress is in the City That Never Sleeps, where she admittedly ends up when she’s “not doing anything.” Still, time off is rare for Hall these days, as she adjusts to an increasingly hectic schedule – and increased profile – brought on by memorable turns in films like Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Prestige, and The Town, in addition to a respected stage career in her native London. As far as the “new generation” of Hollywood goes, Hall leads the pack, as much for her striking features as her talent. And so, in between movie shoots and stage productions, these days her home seems to just float with her. “I’m still not living anywhere,” she says. “I’m nowhere.”

A Golden Globe nominee (for her starring role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Hall is far from the pap-snapped diva Hollywood seemingly produces every other minute. Over the phone, she’s instantly relatable, gracious and overtly unpretentious. When asked if she saw an installment of “Who Wore It Best?” in Us Magazine that pit her against Salma Hayek in the same red corseted Yves Saint Laurent jumpsuit, she laughs at the absurdity of such a thing (though she seems pleasantly surprised when she learns readers voted her the clear winner). “I would never have known that had you not told me,” she says, surprised. “I guess that’s nice? I don’t know if it’s a healthy thing to know that. But I’m sure Salma Hayek looked good in it too.”

(Cam Lindsay)

- To read the rest of this story, pick up Issue 9 of Corduroy

ALSO FEATURING:
Sir Ben Kingsley
Lily Cole
Christophe Lemaire
Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Taylor Kitsch
Gia Coppola
Sebastian Stan
Victoria Legrand
Marcel Dzama
Richard Mosse