Josh Hartnett nabs a scoop in ‘Champ’

Tackling the role of a father and sports reporter in “Resurrecting the Champ” not only gave Josh Hartnett insight about parenting, he also has a newfound appreciation for journalists.

“This is my first time ever playing a dad,” said Hartnett, 29, in a recent interview to promote the movie at a Los Angeles hotel.

“I’m definitely quite a few years away from fatherhood in real life,” says the actor, who admittedly loves being a bachelor. “Still, I was surprisedat how easy and natural it was for me to sink into the whole father and family role. Maybe it was because I knew, too, that on screen I could always just give the kid back to his mother if he acted up. But that may be what real dads do, too. I don’t know. Then again, it also could have been all those years I spent babysitting that helped to make everything seem like second nature to me.”

The film, which opens Friday, is inspired by a real-life news story written by Los Angeles-based sports writer J.R. Moehringer about a heavyweight champion who ended up homeless.

Hartnett, whose credits include “Pearl Harbor,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Sin City” and “Lucky Number Slevin,” plays a young, opportunistic sports reporter trying to fill the big shoes of his father, a famous radio broadcaster.

“As an actor, you enjoy roles like this because Erik is really a flawed individual,” Hartnett says. “There’s so much going on with this guy. He starts to doubt his worth as a reporter. But he really believes that he’ll make a name for himself after he meets this former boxer [Samuel L. Jackson] who’s now homeless and who claims to be the legendary Battling Bob Satterfield. If he gets this story, it would make Erik not only worthy to his wife … who he’s separated from, and his young son who he lies to in order to make himself look bigger, but especially to his boss [Alan Alda] who complains that he forgets his stories while reading them.”

Until he made this movie, Hartnett never quite understood the pressures journalists face to “get the story.”

“It changed my perspective about their profession,” he says. “Honestly, my dealings have been with celebrity gossip journalists. And at least 95 percent of the stories written about me are usually inaccurate. I always felt that recently there has been a blur between gossip and news. It’s a strange world for journalists right now. There’s the competition from the Internet and bloggers and all that. And it’s easy to see how facts can get screwed up because that information is constantly changing and there’s little accountability for it. Newspapers and magazines have to stay competitive, maintain their integrity and still keep people’s attention. That’s tougher than ever now. And my character in the film learns this lesson the hard way.”

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Legal challenge halts SFPD jurisdiction over dog attacks on federal land

Dog owners beware — canine attacks are now consequence-free on federal land… Continue reading

New drug court hearing for man who ate cookie without permission

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office will ask the San Francisco Superior… Continue reading

49ers battle with the Saints lives up to its billing

Kittle’s 39-yard catch-and-run had placed San Francisco in prime position for a game-winning field goal as the 49ers trailed 46-45

SF police shoot burglary suspect in Mission District

Man allegedly attacked officers before being shot in first on-duty SFPD shooting since June 2018

Not even heavy rain can stop the 25th annual SantaCon

Jolly, drunken fun event for Santas is the ‘least wonderful time of the year’ for many locals

Most Read