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Josh Hartnett keen to make more arthouse films

Josh Hartnett is enjoying taking on more "experimental" film roles.

The actor, who made a mark as a Hollywood leading man in hits such as Pearl Harbor and 40 Days and 40 Nights, has turned his back on big budget movies in recent years in favor of more thought-provoking pictures.


Of his evolution, Josh shares that his choice to take on indie flicks such as Resurrecting the Champ, about a down-and-out boxing pro, and Lucky Number Slevin, Paul McGuigan's offbeat crime drama, was a deliberate move.


"It was a conscious decision that I made a long time ago to do as much experimental work as possible," he told Britain's Independent newspaper. "It’s always difficult to get a film together that has the potential both to be innovative and have any box office (success) whatsoever.


Next up, the 37-year-old will have a role in Polish director Lech Majewski's Valley of the Gods, a sci-fi fantasy following the narratives of three characters attempting to escape the inevitable drama about to unfold when supernatural visions clash with impending reality.


The Minnesota native says the film, which also stars John Malkovich and Charlotte Rampling, is an exciting challenge as it doesn't have much of a script and will likely involve improvisation.


"I’m always drawn to things that are going to be an experience and make me think in a different way," he said. "I don’t feel any pressure to make Valley of the Gods a box office phenomenon. But that’s the problem with the way I've approached making films - at least as far as my agents have been concerned!"


Josh, who is also currently starring as Ethan Chandler in the third series of TV show Penny Dreadful, added that having a child with his English actress partner Tamsin Egerton has made him reassess his attitude to work.


"Everything becomes more practical when you’re a parent. It’s a fantastic motivator. It gives you purpose. There is definitely less navel-gazing going on in my world now," he smiled.


A release date for Valley of the Gods is yet to be announced.