Born on March 12, 1968, in Cupertino, California, Aaron Eckhart lived abroad before working with colleague Neil LaBute as an actor on film projects that include In the Company of Men and Possession. Eckhart landed more roles in works like Erin Brockovich and The Missing, and earned a Golden Globe nod for Thank You for Smoking. He later played Two-Face in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.
Aaron Eckhart was born on March 12, 1968, in Cupertino, part of the county of Santa Clara, California, to a Mormon home. His mother worked as a children's book writer, and the family relocated to London during Eckhart's teens for his father's computer exec career. Discovering he had a passion for acting after being cast in Charlie Brown: The Doctor Is In, Eckhart later moved to Australia during his senior year, attending a drama school but dropping out to earn income as a movie theater usher. (He eventually earned his high school equivalency degree via correspondence courses.)
Eckhart lived in France and Hawaii for a time before moving to Utah to attend Brigham Young University, where he met Neil LaBute. Eckhart was cast in the burgeoning playwright's college productions, and the two reunited years later when LaBute turned his sights to the big screen.
Films with Neil LeBute
Post graduation, Eckhart lived in New York City, landing commercial spots, and then opted to move back to California to forge a career in Los Angeles. He landed several TV roles before he was cast in LaBute's 1997 screenwriting and directorial effort, In the Company of Men, a controversial comedy in which Eckhart portrayed a corporate staffer who romantically manipulates a hearing impaired woman.
Eckhart would go on to be featured in several other LaBute films—the ensemble piece Your Friends & Neighbors (1998); Nurse Betty (2000), starring Renee Zellweger; Possession (2002), opposite Gwyneth Paltrow; and The Wicker Man (2006), with Nicolas Cage.
Range of Work
From the late 1990s through the first decade of the 2000s, Eckhart created an ongoing body of diverse film work where he played a range of characters. In 1999, after portraying the brother of an autistic woman in Molly, he was a footballer in Any Given Sunday. Then in 2000's Erin Brockovich, he appeared as the biker love interest of the title character, played by Julia Roberts.
He co-starred with Hilary Swank and Stanley Tucci in the sci-fi flick The Core (2003) and created a buzz for his work in Thank You for Smoking (2006). Playing the lead role of a smiling and scheming tobacco lobbyist, Eckhart garnered a Golden Globe nomination for the part. Other projects for the actor during this period included The Missing (2003), Suspect Zero (2004), Conversations With Other Women (2006), The Black Dahlia (2006) and No Reservations (2007).
'The Dark Knight'
Eckhart worked with Christopher Nolan as part of The Dark Knight (2008), the second installment of the director's Batman film adaptations. Eckhart delivered an affecting performance as dedicated district attorney Harvey Dent, who becomes the deranged criminal Two-Face after being held in a hostage situation masterminded by the Joker (Heath Ledger).
Post Knight, Eckhart starred in two dramas, Love Happens (2009) and The Rabbit Hole (2010), in which he co-starred with Nicole Kidman. The two played grieving parents whose son is killed in an accident.
Eckhart returned to comedic fare with 2011's The Rum Diary—an adaptation of a Hunter S. Thompson work starring Johnny Depp—and made forays into action with Battle: Los Angeles (2011), Olympus Has Fallen and Erased (both released in 2013).
In the fall of 2011, Eckhart was cast to play Beach Boys member Dennis Wilson in the biopic The Drummer, which is also slated to star Vera Farmiga as Fleetwood Mac musician/singer Christine McVie. The project started filming in 2012. Eckhart also has the lead role in the fantasy/action feature I, Frankenstein, slated for an early 2014 release.
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