The 31-year-old "Pearl Harbor" star was at South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival promoting his new thriller "I Come with the Rain." Co-starring with Hartnett in the story about an American detective hired to track down a rich Chinese businessman's son are Japan's Takuya Kimura and South Korea's Lee Byung-hun. Lee recently made his Hollywood debut in "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." Vietnamese-French filmmaker Tran Anh Hung, the 1995 Venice Film Festival winner for "Cyclo," directed.
Hartnett, whose credits also include "Black Hawk Down" and "The Black Dahila," showered his co-stars with praise at a news conference.
He recalled meeting Kimura on location in the Philippines after the Japanese actor spent the day shooting covered in mud. "I was impressed by his professionalism," Hartnett said.
Kimura, meanwhile, admitted to being star-struck when he met the American. "Wow, it's Josh Hartnett!" he said he thought, but added that Hartnett was approachable. "I felt that he has a very big heart, and he is a very nice person."
Hartnett, too, confessed to feeling a bit taken aback when he met Lee. The South Korean was in his gym clothes at the time, showing off a bulky build. "I was intimidated," Hartnett said.
But Hartnett wanted to set the record straight on a dinner he shared with Lee _ at which the South Korean treated.
He joked that Lee thought he was clueless about Korean-style sushi when the American went for the cheaper sashimi.
"He's wrong. I was just being polite," he said, adding he frequently has Korean food in New York City.
Tran said the diverse cast made for a stimulating shoot because each actor brought a unique perspective.
"It was very interesting and very fun for me," he said.