Josh Hartnett got a bicycle for his 30th birthday, but not just any bicycle. It was a gray Giorgio Armani two-wheeler with a handwritten note from the designer. And Armani gave him some diamonds, too, sort of….Hartnett is the face of the designer’s new men’s fragrance Diamonds for Men. At a lunch on Friday at New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel hosted by L’Oréal, Hartnett celebrated the big 3-0 in addition to the fragrance launch. As for the bike, Hartnett pointed out, “I’m going to have to ride it home now.”
The actor, who’s a big music buff, first met Armani at an Eric Clapton guitar auction 11 years ago. “It was just as I was getting started, and he took an interest in what I was doing and gave me all these clothes to wear,” said Hartnett. “I never considered doing any project like this, but I knew if I was going to do it for anyone it was going to be him. We were thinking of doing clothing together but this one came up.” Hartnett noted that endorsement projects are increasingly important for actors, especially at a time when the movie industry is suffering. “I’m a big independent film nut and this helps me get the money together for films. If you want to do small independent films, you need to have some foreign box office cachet these days, and these days the biggest way to show you’re a movie star overseas is to do a campaign.” Hartnett is working on several projects and came to town after filming a movie in Bucharest to promote “August,” an independent film he produced about the downfall of a New York dot-com entrepreneur. “Dot-comers were like rock stars at the time in the late Nineties and garnered this attention and supposedly had all this money, but things fell apart for them and now they’re struggling to rebuild their lives.” In two weeks, he’s off to the U.K. to start rehearsing for the stage adaptation of “Rain Man.”
This story first appeared in the July 14, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.