At this week’s press day for The Rum Diary, adapted from the Hunter S. Thompson novel and starring Johnny Depp, Collider got the opportunity to sit down with actor Aaron Eckhart for an exclusive interview. While we talked about his performance as Sanderson, an American businessman involved in shady property development deals in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the ‘60s, we will post that portion of the closer to the film’s October 28th release date.
In the meantime, we did get a bit of an update on the project that he just signed on for Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein, an action movie in which he plays the famous beast. Check out what he had to say about that, along with what attracts him to the roles he takes on, after the jump.
AARON ECKHART: I have a movie coming out, called The Expatriate, which is a father-daughter CIA thriller. We filmed that in Europe. My character has a 15-year-old daughter, and that was fun, filming with her. And then, for the next movie I signed onto, I’m playing Frankenstein in I, Frankenstein, which is a modern take on Frankenstein.
What was the appeal of a project like that, especially since it’s so different from what you’ve done before?
ECKHART: I don’t know. There’s no rhyme nor reason. Just the fact that I just said, “I’m playing Frankenstein,” is something I never imagined. I don’t know what I’m doing. That’s my problem.
How is it different from the Frankenstein stories that people are familiar with? Is he more intelligent and evolved, as a character?
ECKHART: Frankenstein is an intelligent, evolved man, and that’s how he is portrayed in this movie, for sure. In the book, he’s very evolved. Somewhere in time, Frankenstein got dumbed down. He is a beast, but somewhere he lost his heart. I don’t know how much heart we’ll be able to get into it. It’s not a docu-drama of Frankenstein. It’s not an insightful look into his soul. It’s more of an action movie, really. But, it will be cool.
What draws you to a project? Does it start with the director, for you?
ECKHART: I have no idea. It’s different. With a movie like The Rum Diary, with Johnny [Depp], (director) Bruce [Robinson] and Hunter S. Thompson, you’ve gotta go do it. With Rabbit Hole, with Nicole Kidman, you’ve gotta go do it. Sometimes it’s about good words. Other times, I just want to go hop around and grunt and not say anything. There are those kinds of movies. Sometimes I don’t want to say another word in a movie, but I want to be very physical. And then, there’s other times where you want to go win an Academy Award. As an actor, you’re attracted to good material. You look at your character and you go, “God, I’d love to play that!” All of a sudden, an image will pop into your mind and you can feel yourself playing it. Although, it doesn’t fit into your plan and logistically you’re already busy, but you end up calling your agent and going, “Find out a way for me to do this movie.” For me, there is no plan.