Aaron Eckhart Biography
Aaron Edward Eckhart is an American film and stage actor. Born in California, he moved to England at 13 when his father relocated the family. Several years later, he began his acting career performing in school plays. Eckhart then moved to Sydney, Australia, for his high school senior year; he left without graduating but earned a diploma through an adult education course. In 1994, he graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film. For much of the mid-1990s, he lived in New York City as a struggling, unemployed actor.
As an undergraduate at Brigham Young, Eckhart met director and writer Neil LaBute who cast him in several of LaBute's original plays. Five years later, Eckhart made a debut as an unctuous sociopathic ladies' man in LaBute’s black comedy film In the Company of Men (1997). Under LaBute's guidance, he worked in the director's films Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), Nurse Betty (2000), and Possession (2002). Eckhart has chosen roles in an eclectic range of movies, from science fiction films such as The Core (2003) and Paycheck (2003) to romantic dramas like Conversations with Other Women (2006) and No Reservations (2007).
In 2000, Eckhart gained wide recognition as George in Steven Soderbergh's critically acclaimed film Erin Brockovich. In 2006, he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Nick Naylor in Thank You for Smoking. In 2008, he starred in the big-budget studio film The Dark Knight as District Attorney Harvey Dent and the villain he becomes, Two-Face.
Eckhart was born in Cupertino, California, and is the youngest of three sons born to Mary Eckhart (née Lawrence), a poet and children's author, and James C. Eckhart "Jim Senior", a computer executive. His brothers are James Lawrence Eckhart (born 1963) and Adam Eckhart (born 1966). Eckhart was raised as a Mormon in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served a two year mission in both France and Switzerland.
In 1981, the Eckhart family moved to England where they resided in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, and where Eckhart attended American Community School, now known as ACS International Schools, where he had his first acting experiences, starting in a school production as Charlie Brown. In 1985, he moved to Sydney, Australia, where he attended American International School of Sydney for his high school senior year; he further developed his acting skills in productions like Waiting for Godot, where he admits that he did a "terrible" production. In the fall of his senior year, Eckhart left the school in order to take a job working at a mall movie theater. He eventually earned his diploma through an adult education course when he returned to the United States. This also allowed Eckhart time to enjoy a year surfing in Hawaii and the coastal waters of France.] In 1988, Eckhart returned to the United States and enrolled as a film major at Brigham Young University (BYU). He graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Eckhart was engaged to actress Emily Cline, whom he met during filming of In the Company of Men, but separated from her in 1998. From 2006 to 2007, he was in a relationship with SheDaisy's Kristyn Osborn. In 2007, he dated Ashley Wicks, though the two have ended their relationship. During filming of No Reservations, tabloids reported that Eckhart and co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones were having an affair. On the alleged affair, he said, "Maybe they do this to sell papers or to sell the movie. In general, my life has not been interesting to gossip papers. I'm not your big movie star... Nobody follows me around. But with Catherine, yes, it was different... Well it's just not true." He has been reluctant in speaking about his relationships in interviews.
In various interviews Eckhart has talked about his beliefs, his way of life, and his future career ambitions. Talking to Entertainment Weekly regarding his Mormon faith, he revealed: "I'm sure people think I'm a Mormon, but I don't know that I'm a Mormon anymore, you know? To be honest, to be perfectly clear, I'd be a hypocrite if I did say that I was, just because I haven't lived that lifestyle for so many years." In other interviews he has divulged that, through hypnosis, he quit drinking, smoking, and partying, that in his spare time he enjoys photography, and that he is a fan of the National Football League (NFL) team, the Oakland Raiders. In an interview with Parade magazine, Eckhart revealed that before he discovered acting he wanted to become a songwriter.