Josh Hartnett never intended to become a "heartthrob".

The 45-year-old actor developed teen idol status in the late 90s, when he starred in movies such as 'The Faculty' and 'The Virgin Suicides', and Josh now admits that he never planned to become a heartthrob.

He told Variety: "It was never my intention to be a heartthrob."

Josh "really wanted to be a serious actor" and so he pushed back against his sex symbol status.

The movie star explained: "I didn’t have the presence of mind to do that because I was so young. It had an effect on me, in which I had to fight against it.

"I really wanted to be a serious actor.

"What I didn’t understand is that I was in an amazing position, working with terrific directors on terrific projects."

Josh made a concerted effort to "rectify" his public perception.

He said: "To me, the world had seen me as a thing that I didn’t feel like inside. I wanted to rectify that."

Josh previously admitted that he hasn't had a "cohesive career".

The actor was one of the most sought-after stars in Hollywood during his younger years, but Josh subsequently opted to shun some big-budget film projects.

Speaking to The Independent, Josh - who previously starred in 'Pearl Harbor' and 'Black Hawk Down' - explained: "I have an artistic mind, and I want to follow things that are somehow just outside of my understanding.

"Does that necessarily make for a cohesive career in a movie star sense? No. But before the last few years I just had less of a chance to do it."

Josh loves making movies and TV shows - but he doesn't enjoy the demands of fame.

He said: "Coming up to the city and doing an interview is a rarity. Typically, I work on the films that I work on, and then I go home."