Aaron Eckhart interview

by James Mottram

Marie Claire Celebrity News: Aaron Eckhart

Star of Erin Brockovich and The Black Dahlia, Aaron Eckhart, 40, features opposite Christian Bale and Heath Ledger as the well-intentioned District Attorney Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, the sequel to 2005's Batman Begins.

The Dark Knight has just been released in the US, earning the biggest opening weekend gross ($158 million) ever. Are you ready for your life to change?

Well, you can feel the buzz on the street about this movie. I think the teenage demographic will now come into my life, whereas I didn’t really have it before. This business is just that, a business. Movies are really geared towards that demographic, and you need that to move along, so you can do the movies you want to do.

What are your memories of working with Heath Ledger?

My experience was wonderful. It was the experience of…loving to act myself, to watch somebody who loved his character and had the discipline to make a bold creation. I found myself trying to keep up with him and I was also admiring him at the same time. I watched him off camera and on camera, as an actor, to see his process. After the day was over, I shook his hand and said, 'That's why I'm an actor - 'cos of guys like you.' So I treasure that time with him.

You often play dubious characters. Do you hanker after playing the leading man?

I'm interested in doing it. I think it's well within my range. Look at Erin Brockovich or No Reservations. It's out there. I don't have any plans on trying to convince anybody I'm one way or the other. But I'm an actor and I love to act. I love to get good roles. I'm as interested in doing movies as I was ten or fifteen years ago.

So you haven't lost the desire to act?

When I work with less-than-stellar actors, I get like that. But when you work with Heath, it reinvigorates your love of acting. It's like I was watching tennis the other day and I thought, 'How many times can you hit a tennis ball?' But it's not about hitting a tennis ball. It's about the energy created through perfecting the technique, the correctness of an art.

You're next up in Traveling, with Jennifer Aniston. Were you hounded by the paparazzi while on set?

A little bit. And there were rumours going around [about us]. But when you know it goes with the territory, the upside of that is that people are more likely to go see your films!

The Dark Knight opens on 24 July.

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