Aaron Eckhart Confirms Two-Face and Two Performances in Dark Knight
by Alex Billington
March 7, 2008
Buzz for The Dark Knight has been a little thin around here, primarily because Iron Man has stolen most of it, but I think it's time to change that. Wizard recently interviewed Aaron Eckhart and talked with him at length about playing Harvey Dent and eventually the villain Two-Face. Not only does Eckhart confirm that Two-Face makes an appearance in the movie, but he talks about how he portrayed the character and how his story is involved in the framework of the movie. While we do have Iron Man coming up a good two months before The Dark Knight hits, now is the time to start getting really excited for both as we get close and closer to the summer movie season.
Eckhart plainly answers their question regarding his appearance as Two-Face, stating "Harvey Dent turns into Harvey Two-Face in this movie. So that answers your question better." With that out of the way, it's time to dive into the deeper realm of Harvey Dent and Two-Face because he is such an intricate character, playing on both the good and the bad sides. Eckhart is thankfully a very talented actor who understands how to perfectly portray a character that maybe good sometimes, bad the others, but will always keep your attention. "If you can relate to a character who's a villain, or not, it's always better. If I can help you to relate to my character, then I think that I'm more likely to keep your attention."
For those like me who want to go into this with as little knowledge as possible so as to experience the full story in theaters for the first time, we're keeping very light on the story details. However, Eckhart does give a great explanation as to what we will see of Harvey Dent and how his transformation will occur. Don't be worried, we're not talking spoilers at all, we're talking about how exactly his character is involved in the overal framework of The Dark Knight.
"I think that right now we're showing who Harvey was before he was scarred, and it's an interesting role that he plays. We're looking at Gotham City trying to get out of its darkness. That's why Harvey is important."
"I have done scenes as Harvey Two-Face. It's interesting. I won't tell you exactly what we're going for, but I think that I can say that it will use all of today's technology to create this character. He's going to be interesting, and I think that's what makes this character important in the movie—you get to see him as he was before, as in the comic books. Harvey is a very good guy in the comic books. He's judicious. He cares. He's passionate about what he loves and then he turns into this character. So you will see that in this film."
This is where Jeremy from CHUD steps in. He posted a very interesting article that is seemingly unrelated to Wizard's interview, in which he said that "Nolan shot complementary takes of Eckhart in Two-Face makeup so he could visually represent the duality of Dent in a less cartoony fashion." What that means, in essence, is that "he's a fifty-fifty split of the same actor giving two wildly divergent performances in the same shot. And because he has two takes of each scene, Nolan has the luxury of shaping Eckhart's performance in post." The moment I read that for the first time, I instantly blurted out "no fucking way!" Apparently both of the takes will be present, but only one will dominate his consciousness at any given moment.
As Jeremy eludes to, the technical aspect of pulling this off may be why they haven't shown any of Harvey Dent or Two-Face in the trailers yet. I'm sure Nolan wants to finish the work and perfect every last detail regarding Dent before he even shows as much as a glimpse of him. Think about the idea of seeing Eckhart's two performances combined into one in post-production, and without noticing the blend, one side of his face is acting maniacal while the other is acting like Harvey Dent. I could be wrong about how I'm imagining this, but that's what it sounds like from Jeremy's explanation.
I'm so overwhelmed by envisioning what all this means, that I don't even know how to respond. I knew The Dark Knight was going to be something profound and life-changing when I saw the IMAX footage in front of I Am Legend that Nolan had shot. Now you throw in Two-Face's duality into the mix and that really blows my mind. While initially anyone might be worried that the movie features too many villains, I think more than anyone out there, Christopher Nolan is the one who knows exactly how to pull off the delicate balance that is required for it to work.
With exactly 133 days and counting until The Dark Knight hits theaters (on July 18th), there is still plenty of time for the buzz to build. I'd suggest you all stay tuned next Thursday, March 13th, as I'm apparently being treated to some footage (and maybe more) from The Dark Knight at ShoWest in Las Vegas. In the meantime, let the discussions begin on Aaron Eckhart and Harvey Dent. And stay tuned for new trailers, interviews, and more hype for The Dark Knight right here on FS.net!
What do you think of Two-Face's appearance and Eckhart's double performances in The Dark Knight? Is it too much, or is it just right?