Aaron Eckhart (No Reservations, The Core)stars as District Attorney Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Warner Bros.' new actionadventure The Dark Knight. This is the follow-up to the action hit BatmanBegins. The film reunites director Christopher Nolan and star ChristianBale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne.
In The Dark Knight, Batman sets out to destroyorganized crime in Gotham for good, with the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon(Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent. The triumvirateproves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a rising criminalmastermind known as the Joker (the late Heath Ledger), who thrusts Gotham intoanarchy and forces the Dark Knight ever closer to crossing the fine linebetween hero and vigilante.
Eckhart sat down with journalists during a set-visit lastAugust 2007, prior to Ledger's passing. The following are excerpts from that interview.
Question: Did you go back to the performances of previousHarvey Dents—Billy Dee Williams and Tommy Lee Jones?
Aaron: I did not. The last time I saw those, I wasin...whatever I wore to school (Laughs). The Dark Knight is quite agreat script and Harvey's quite a great character. I think this is going to be a breakout Batman. It's going to surprise a lot of people.Actors are playing characters differently from their predecessors, so it reallyhas no connection with the past.
Q: How did you handle the part of Two-Face?
Aaron: Well, Two-Face, as it's well known in the comicbooks, is an angry guy. (Laughs). I just dialed into that, something that wouldhappen to you in that way. He's lost everything that ever meant anything tohim. Which is love. And he can't get it back, and he's done it because maybepeople haven't been doing their jobs. And I think that's a lot of where hisanger comes from. He thinks it could've been avoided and so I think he ishurting, he's got a lot of anger and resentment, all those very human emotions.
Q: Do you have to go back and forth a lot in the filmbetween the two characters?
Aaron: They usually give me a lunch break, but yeah.(Laughs) The filming schedule really cannot be based on anybody's preference,so one day you could be Harvey Dent, DA and another you could be Two-Face forsure. I think that talking about preparation stuff—and having done movies for awhile—you get used to it, it's not a problem, I mean...to illustrate it, Icould be walking down the street very happy, and then something could happenand you could get enraged in a nanosecond, so I think we have the ability to dothat.
Q: When you read the script, what were you lookingforward to being able to do as this character?
Aaron: When I read this script, I was looking for acharacter, hoping for a character. I had met with [director] Chris [Nolan], andhe then allowed me to read the script. And it was my great desire that I wouldread this script and be happy. As opposed to read the script and have to conmyself into liking the part. I can't say enough how great everybody's role inthis movie is. Down to Gary and Morgan [Freeman] and me, and Heath [Ledger] hasan amazing role. Everybody gets to act in the movie, everybody has an arc, asthey say, or has something to do in the movie. And Chris tells as great story,so I was thrilled when I read it, and I had to ask again if they were gonnaoffer it to me! (Laughs). Because when I read it, I wasn't sure I had the part!But I'm glad I'm a part of it, really, really happy. And to have worked withpeople that I admire so much. I get to work a lot with Gary Oldman in themovie.
Q: Has Two-Face been aesthetically re-invented in themovie?
Aaron: Uh... I don't know... He's pretty straightforward.The coin's there. One thing that I personally believe in is you ought to givethe people what they want. And that's a character that they know, and they'reused to. Now, you can endure different degrees of how you do that, and passion,but I feel like, if you go to a concert, you want the guys to play the songsthat you know. You don't want them to play songs in a different way. That's notto say that they're not going to be exciting and enthused with new energy orpassion or a different way of doing things, but I think the fundamentals arethere.
Q: Do you act differently when you are hiding under amask?
Aaron: I think that as actors will tell you, everythinghelps. If you have an impediment or if you have something on your face, oryou're carrying a load, or you gain weight for a part, or whatever, you can'thelp but act differently. So yes it does. It just puts you immediately intothat mindset. I'm sure that when Heath puts on his makeup that he goes to aplace... It's also in the preparation of putting on that makeup and getting...when you're looking in the mirror in makeup and it takes a long time to put iton, and all this... that you use that time to channel that energy, and that'swhere a lot of that (clicks fingers) flipping on the anger, boom, boom, boom...Once you get into your clothes and your character...
Q: Is your make-up scary?
Aaron: That question I cannot answer, surprisingly. I thinkit's going to be a surprise about the character, and that's why you don't seeany Two-Face pictures around. But we did see a little bit cut together, and Ithink you guys are going to be really happy. I was!
Opening soon across the Philippines, The Dark Knightwill be distributed worldwide in theatres and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, aWarner Bros. Entertainment Company.