PENNY DREADFUL: Featuring Josh Hartnett

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Josh Hartnett is back. He stars in the new Showtime series, Penny Dreadful, premiering May 11.

Some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel Dracula become embroiled in Victorian London.

Hartnett was a Hollywood heartthrob for years, appearing in huge hits like Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, 40 Days and 40 Nights, Halloween H20, and Sin City. He took some time off, made some independent films and even shied away from the Hollywood scene for several years. Now, he’s playing Ethan Chandler on this exciting, spooky new series.

Ethan Chandler is a charming American who finds himself trapped in the darkest corners of Victorian London, Ethan’s charm and brash ways are catnip to the ladies. When Sir Malcolm enlists him to help in a personal quest, Ethan meets Brona Croft, a beautiful local with a mysterious past. But behind Ethan’s bright eyes lurk dark secrets. He is running from something, and his troubling past threatens to overtake him at every turn.

The show premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and Hartnett spoke with Indiewire about working on TV instead of film – a common theme among A-list actors recently.

These days a lot of good work is being done on television, so why not go work in TV? I’ve never had the fear of any medium that some people have in the past, but — to be honest — I’ve also done quite a few independent films that haven’t been seen by many people. It’s a lot of work down the drain in a way because when people do see them eventually somewhere down the line on Netflix, they say, “Oh, that’s a good film. Why didn’t we hear about this?” And you go, “There was no P&A [promotion and advertising] behind it.” “Why was there no P&A behind it?” “Well, it was trying to do something a little bit different. It didn’t fit into the construct of what the studios were looking for at the time.” So this is off the beaten path enough, and it’s going to be seen. It’s great. You get to work with these people. That’s the biggest thing — I’m excited to have the work that I’m doing seen by masses of people as opposed to having it only be seen eventually down the line when it doesn’t make a difference to my career.

Here’s what else is cool about the show – it was created by writer John Logan, Oscar-nominated writer of The Aviator.

Penny Dreadful is already getting great buzz and you don’t have to wait for the May 11 premiere to watch the first episode either…watch it here, right now. And then watch some clips from our own Hartnett gallery below.

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    After finding their friends dead, John and Molly wind up cornered with Laurie and Will—leaving Laurie with no choice but to face her worst fear. In this scene: John Tate (Josh Hartnett), Molly Cartwell (Michelle Williams), Laurie Strode / Keri Tate (Jamie Lee Curtis), Will Brennan (Adam Arkin)
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    17 year old John wants to go on a camping trip, but Laurie still isn't ready to forget the dangers of her bloody past...especially on Halloween. In this scene: Laurie Strode / Keri Tate (Jamie Lee Curtis), John Tate (Josh Hartnett)
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    Miss Burke comes out ahead in a clash with Zeke in the school parking lot. In this scene: Zeke (Josh Hartnett), Miss Burke (Famke Janssen)
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    John refuses to let his future be defined by his mother's past. In this scene: John Tate(Josh Harnett) Laurie Strode / Keri Tate (Jamie Lee Curtis), Charles 'Charlie' Deveraux (Adam Hann-Byrd)
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    In an attempt to break Matt's vow, sexy co-worker Candy finds an over-the-top way to give him her number. In this scene: Matt (Josh Hartnett), Ryan (Paulo Costanzo), Erica (Shannyn Sossamon), Candy (Monet Mazur)
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    As the days pass, Matt's coworkers double-down on their attempts at making him break his vow. In this scene: Matt (Josh Hartnett), John (Adam Trese), Dad (Barry Newman)
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    Ryan gives Matt a much needed pep talk to get him "back in the game." In this scene: Matt (Josh Hartnett), Susie (Emmanuelle Vaugier), Ryan (Paulo Costanzo)
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    Welcome to Sin City. This town beckons to the tough, the corrupt, the brokenhearted. Some call it dark… Hard-boiled. Then there are those who call it home — Crooked cops, sexy dames, desperate vigilantes. Some are seeking revenge, others lust after redemption, and then there are those hoping for a little of both. A universe of unlikely and reluctant heroes still trying to do the right thing in a city that refuses to care. Starring, in alphabetical order: Alexis Bledel, Benico Del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Bruce Willis, Carla Gugino, Clive Owen, Devon Aoki, Elijah Wood, Jaime King, Jessica Alba, Josh Hartnett, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson
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