Aaron Eckhart was ‘exhausted’ by ‘I, Frankenstein’ role

Aaron Eckhart i Frankenstein
He looks affable enough now, but Aaron Eckhart’s role in “I, Frankenstein” took its toll. Credit: Getty

Aaron Eckhart put himself through the wringer both mentally and physically to take on the titular monster in “I, Frankenstein,” Stuart Beatti’s reimagining of Mary Shelley’s creation as a lone wanderer caught in the middle of an ancient war between gargoyles and demons. Sometimes, Eckhart learned, preparing for a role means getting knocked out a whole bunch of times.

What’s your way into the headspace of a character like this?
Well, you have to go back to the original source, and when I reread Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” I was reacquainted with this sensitive creature, who all he wanted to do was fit in and be loved and know that he had a place in society. And I just thought, wow, so many people feel this way in life already. I felt like that as a teenager. I continually asked myself questions about my humanity. And hopefully people who see this movie will maybe ask themselves a couple of questions about their own existence and are they following their own dreams in life?

That’s a lot to take on.
Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff there.

You were in very intimidating shape in this.
Yeah. Yeah, I had to be. I figured if you have to take off your shirt in this movie, you better get in good shape. And it’s reflective of his mental state as well. He’s a survivalist, he’s had to live on the periphery and eat when he can. There was no life of luxury, so his body needed to reflect that.

Was this the most physical role you’ve done in a while?
Oh yeah, for sure. It was just very exhausting and very difficult, and learning the stick-fighting — I did six months of training and getting in shape, being thrown around. Stuart wanted me to do all my own stunts and all the fighting myself so the audience can see my face and the sticks flying at the same time, so it was a lot of work.

It was very impressive — and mildly terrifying.
That makes two of us. I was terrified the entire time. (laughs)

How many times in that six months of training did you accidentally hit yourself?
Many. I hit people and people hit me. It’s terrible, hitting another person. Sticks are damaging, they come with such force. You know, you could easily break a nose or a cheek or knee or elbow, knuckle, something like that. I was knocked out a couple times. But it makes a good effect for the movie, especially in 3-D.

What other challenges are you looking for, moving on from this?
I just love to be in a room and fight out the issues with two people, a husband and a wife or a son and a daughter, whatever it is. I like the human aspects of drama, so I like doing small movies, too. I think that’s probably where I’ll go in the near future.

And what about the follow-up to “Olympus Has Fallen”?
I’ve heard of it, I’ve sort of heard the plot line. You know probably as much as I do about that. I don’t think it’s as real as everybody thinks, but they are trying to get it done.


Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.


NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.


Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.


VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.


Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.


MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.


James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…


Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…


Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400


Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…


This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…


Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…


Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…