Five Favorite Films with Aaron Eckhart

Plus, The Rum Diary co-star on making the film, playing chaming bad guys, and staying in character -- and sober -- on set.

You could set your watch to Aaron Eckhart's handsomely chiseled features -- but do so at your own peril. As he's proved time and again on screen, Eckhart excels at portraying deceptively charming men: be they manipulative executives (his breakout In the Company of Men), big-tobacco spin doctors (Thank You For Smoking), or literally, physically duplicitous district attorneys (The Dark Knight). Which isn't to say he won't play nice, reasonably normal guys, of course, as his excellent (and strangely Oscar-overlooked) performance in last year's Rabbit Hole attests. This week, however, Eckhart's up to his smooth-talking tricks in The Rum Diary, playing against Johnny Depp as the impeccably-dressed but otherwise rather rapacious Sanderson -- an American businessman out to turn postcard-perfect Puerto Rico into a lucrative tourist resort. We spoke with Eckhart recently, where he talked about the film, his thoughts on writer Hunter S. Thompson, and the art of playing the likeable bad guy. But first, he ran through his five favorite films.


Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

My five favorite films? I have no memory, that's my problem. [Laughs] Well one of them would be Apocalypse Now. I mean, you could tell that the movie was made in madness, as madness, and that, to me... someday I want to make a movie like that. Total consumption.




Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)

One of them would be... did I say Apocalypse Now? [Laughs] What other films are there? Have there been any other films? I would say Five Easy Pieces. Nicholson was a god. Is a god. Great movie. F---ing great movie.




The Getaway (Sam Peckinpah, 1972)

Then I'll say -- this is so easy, but I'll say The Getaway, with McQueen. Just, you know, just raw power and action.




Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)

Bringing Up Baby, with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn -- just because I grew up on those movies.




Midnight Express (Alan Parker, 1978)

And then I'm gonna say... What's a modern movie that I've seen? How about... you know a great movie that I saw was... [extremely long pause] Oh, I got a movie -- the one where he goes to the Turkish Prison. Midnight Express. There you go. That movie terrified me. [Laughs] Go to Turkey, but do your hash before.



Next, Eckhart on The Rum Diary, staying sober on set, and playing charming bad guys.

Comments

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Some interesting picks.

Oct 30 - 02:47 PM

Andrew Milito

Andrew Milito

Interesting.

Oct 30 - 02:48 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Apocalypse Now & Midnight Express are two of my all-time favorite movies! Great picks!

Oct 30 - 03:20 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

It's a tricky thing sometimes when someone springs on you the question of what movie is your favorite. You feel compelled to come up w/ something on the fly and later wind up thinking about something else that could have taken the place of one of the ones you've mentioned. It's why I'm not so hard on some of the younger actors who mention their top 5 and have everyone in the RT community accusing them of just having their publicists tell them what to say. These seem like movies Eckhart would have watched over the course of his growing up but who knows...

Oct 30 - 04:01 PM

Kevin P.

Kevin Popa

To this day, I still don't know who was in speed racer, it was either him or the guy from lost. I think they swapped in for each other to mess with people.

Oct 30 - 05:11 PM

Kurt K.

Kurt Keefner

You know that you're on a site that has all of that information right? xD

Oct 30 - 07:58 PM

Chris A.

Chris Akley

Apocalypse now is a masterpiece but its not the type of movie I care to watch all the time. It leaves me stressed and uneasy lol. Full Metal Jacket and Platoon are similar in that way to me.

Oct 30 - 06:23 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

War is Hell, son.

Oct 30 - 10:46 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Great list. He's a big fan of '70s cinema.

Oct 30 - 07:49 PM

Kurt K.

Kurt Keefner

You know that you're on a site that has all of that information right? xD

Oct 30 - 07:58 PM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

Wonder why the tomato meter scores aren't up there.

Anyway, been a huge fan of his since I saw "Thank you for Smoking". Fine actor.

Oct 30 - 09:22 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

That's the film that made me start to take notice. Great movie. I then started noticing that he was in many movies before in smaller roles (such as Roberts' biker boyfriend in Erin Brockovich).

I love Five East Pieces. It's worth seeing for the diner scene alone.

The Getaway is great, too. I saw the remake with Baldwin and Basinger in the early 90s, which was okay, and it drove me to rent the original. As with most originals, it was far superior.

Oct 31 - 07:17 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

The great state of Vermont will not apologise for its cheese!!!

Nov 1 - 06:45 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

If you guys haven't, check out "In the Company of Men". It's a very strange place for Eckhart to start, but he's hilarious in a much darker role than his good-hearted roles these days. Interesting contrast. That was my introduction to him, and I still see a little slime in that smile.

Nov 1 - 09:39 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

An actor's actor. That's why he picked films with strong, suffering leads. (except "Baby", but, hey, who wouldn't emulate Cary Grant?) Excellent selection, especially for being off the top of his head.

Oct 30 - 10:46 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

War is Hell, son.

Oct 30 - 10:46 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

That's the film that made me start to take notice. Great movie. I then started noticing that he was in many movies before in smaller roles (such as Roberts' biker boyfriend in Erin Brockovich).

I love Five East Pieces. It's worth seeing for the diner scene alone.

The Getaway is great, too. I saw the remake with Baldwin and Basinger in the early 90s, which was okay, and it drove me to rent the original. As with most originals, it was far superior.

Oct 31 - 07:17 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Where are the RT scores?

Oct 31 - 12:16 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I love the end gun battles of Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway- seen that film the other day, can't seem to get enough watching it and MCQueens' cool exterior!

Oct 31 - 03:02 PM

John T.

John Taylor

Well, at least, one I agree with. Bringing Up Baby is a classic.

Oct 31 - 03:02 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

God Bless You.

Nov 1 - 09:36 AM

What's Hot On RT

Five Favorite Films
Five Favorite Films

Brick Mansions star RZA

WonderCon
WonderCon

175 cosplay pictures

Highlights
Highlights

Picture gallery of stoners in film

Summer Calendar
Summer Calendar

See the season's blockbusters

Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile