Aaron Eckhart, actor and world’s first handsome Frankenstein stopped by this morning to talk about his movies, his process, and life as a reclusive leading man. Aaron didn't hold anything back, so let's dive right in!
Aaron and Howard are seemingly the only two movie stars who admit to getting aroused during sex scenes. Howard didn’t even really have any sex scenes in Private Parts, but he was boned up for most of the movie anyway.
Aaron admits that it’s your job as an actor in a love scene to be aroused and to be arousing. Sometimes, though, sex scenes can be a turn off. Aaron spoke of the long, long hours shooting and sweating and getting dirty. One partner who didn’t turn him off was Julia Roberts, who made out with Aaron in ‘Erin Brockovich’.
Even with the full erections, he’s never had an on-set romance. If it gets intense, he and his co-star can make a rule that says between ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’ there are no limits, but after ‘Cut’, you stop.
Aaron is a pretty strict method actor, not wanting to break character between takes, and going to great lengths to prepare for a role. He even went so far as to attend a support group for parents who had recently lost children to prepare for his part in the film ‘Rabbit Hole.’ He went in character and told the story of how his son was hit by a car as if it were real life.
Howard and Robin were astonished (as was Jonah Hill, who came in right after Aaron, and said: ‘That’s pretty heavy’). Aaron admitted that it was rude, but he felt he needed to get as close to the reality of the situation as possible.
Did his movie wife Nicole Kidman join him? No, she was “in the Bahamas or somewhere.”
Aaron also spent a lot of time in a wheelchair for his upcoming movie ‘Incarnate.’ Not only did he spend all day on-set in the chair (allowing nobody to help him if he got stuck or fell) but he also took to the streets to really live the role he was playing.
He really creeped one woman out as she tried to get in her front door, asking “is this your house?” It was, and she desperately wanted to go inside, and away from Aaron, but then something changed. Humanity took over and she turned and asked if he was having a good day. He probably was, spinning through the streets and yelling at cars.
Aaron admitted that his process could be pain in the ass, and not all great actors are method. Jack Nicholson, who Aaron worked with in the Sean Penn-directed film ‘The Pledge’ is pretty low-key in his approach. During one scene, Jack finds a tooth in Benicio Del Toro’s body and holds it up, looking at it intensely. Aaron had to know what was going through Jack’s mind as he studied that tooth.
“I was counting to ten,” the icon revealed.
Of course, Howard had to ask about playing Harvey Dent/Two Face in ‘The Dark Knight’.
He worked with Heath Ledger in his legendary performance as The Joker and Heath was as obsessed with his character as Aaron. Heath would mutter to himself and smack the wall all day on set. They’d even get into position an hour before shooting started and just interact as their characters with Heath messing around and exhibiting the Joker’s ticks and compulsions.
When Harvey finally becomes Two Face, Aaron only had some blood and make-up on his face, not the horror show we saw in the actual movie – which was done in post. He felt he could’ve perhaps done an even better job if he really had that make-up on, and the cast could really react to a man with half a face. Thankfully, he didn’t do anything drastic.
When he isn’t becoming a character, he’s a pretty non-Hollywood type. After he’s done promoting his latest movie, I, Frankenstein, he’ll ‘disappear’ and drive his truck somewhere. He hasn’t seen one of his movies since the very beginning. He’s got a place in Montana and stays in shape by climbing trees and throwing rocks.
And as for the ladies – Aaron was cagey about details. At forty-five, he’s not looking to settle down or have children. In fact, he thinks he might be sterile. This led Howard to ask if he has been forgoing a condom and finishing inside women for all these years. Aaron didn’t confirm or deny it, joking that he ‘abstains completely.’
Jonah wanted his part in the Wolf of Wall Street so badly that he tracked Leonardo DiCaprio down in Mexico and told him that if another actor landed the role, Jonah would kill him, and every subsequent choice until he was the only one left who could play the part.
And he played the part well – so well that he got his second Academy Award nomination last week, which he still found hard to believe.
He cites director Martin Scorsese as his favorite of all time, and he didn’t take the responsibility handed to him lightly. Like he used to do to entertain Dustin Hoffman when he was younger, he went back to making phony phone calls to prepare for his role. They weren’t the funny Sal and Richard style phone calls, but serious calls he’d make in character to get used to speaking with his fake character teeth.
Another piece of fake anatomy he had to incorporate into his performance was a prosthetic penis he masturbated while at a pool party. The reaction of the extras on the set was genuine; they thought his self-love was real. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler joked at the Golden Globes that if they wanted to see Jonah Hill masturbate at a pool party, they’ll go to one of Jonah Hill’s pool party.
Some elements in the Wolf of Wall Street were not faked, like the punch Jon Bernthal landed on Jonah’s face. The phony punch just didn’t look real enough for Scorsese. Jonah manned-up and took the punch, which connected and split his fake teeth in half. Marty quickly positioned a camera above Jonah’s face and captured it swelling up.
For all his hard work, Jonah was paid $60,000 for his role in the movie. But, as he point out, you don’t do a movie like that for the money. You do ’22 Jump Street’ for the money.
Jonah is happy that he was able to carve out a career for himself where he can transition from comedy to serious work and do well in both. He tried to convey this to a Rolling Stone reporter last year but the article didn’t come off well.
Jonah admitted that he was going through a rough time personally and should never have given the interview, but he wanted to promote ‘This is the End.’ The interview got off to a bad start after the reporter showed up to lunch and called him by the wrong name.
Jonah was feeling insecure and let it affect how he spoke about his work, which he learned from. The quote that got Jonah so much negative attention was "I could have made a billion dollars doing every big comedy of the last 10 years and didn't, in order to form a whole other life for myself," as producer Gary Dell’Abate read verbatim.
The bottom line for Jonah was that he’s done interviews for ten years and came off as a jerk in one. Pretty good on average.
And in defence of Jonah, he's not wrong. Today on the show he revealed that he turnd down a prime part in The Hangover to do Cyrus because he loved the scipt so much and loved that it was a different type of role for him. Stern fans may remember that last time he was on, Jonah confirmed he based a lot of his role in Cyrus off our own Benjy Bronk!
Jonah couldn’t leave without saying a few gushing words to his hero. He listens to the show every day, but he was explaining it to someone who wasn’t a daily listener and had a realization: “Every show hits an apex and gets worse. What's so interesting is that after twenty or thirty years, you're doing the best work you’ve ever done.”
He complimented the whole staff and begged to be allowed to sit in the Artie chair for a show one day in the future, which Howard readily agreed to.
Another nugget Jonah Hill dropped was that his longtime friends Seth Rogen and Matt Evans are working on their next project – a comedy about Kim Jong Un, which he claims is going to be the best.
Howard really liked Enuff Z’Nuff’s cover of the Beatles ‘Revolution’ and requested Fred play it at the Birthday Show during a commercial break.
Michael Douglas will star in ‘Ant Man,’ which Howard was originally going to do years ago.
Howard was upset that Batman vs. Superman will be delayed ten months.
Howard was sent some Tommy John underwear and likes it so far. Everybody was trying to figure out whether ‘micro-modal’ was synthetic or not.
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Study: Guns in home increase suicide, homicide risk. Speaking of guns, Harvey Weinstein got a lot of flak from pro-gun proponents after promising to do a an anti-NRA movie while on the show last week. Extreme conservative rocker Ted Nugent has been one of the most vocal, saying he was dissapointed in 'gun carrying' Howard for not standing up for gun rights.
Howard set the record straight today. He is pro guns but he does not always support the NRA. He believes we do need stricter laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them and strongly advocates for a mandatory 3 day waiting period before purchase.
Got that Ted?
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