At the movies

Aaron Eckhart does the monster mash in ‘I Frankenstein’

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Aaron Eckhart is comfortable playing just about anybody. The native Californian, 45, first became familiar to audiences as the white-collar misogynist in Neil LaBute’s In the Company of Men, victimizing a deaf woman for sport. Eckhart quickly gained a reputation as the handsome bad boy and was duly cast as the biker boyfriend of Julia Roberts’ title character in Erin Brockovich.

Those chiseled good looks (and adorable chin dimple) have helped land Eckhart as the love interest in such rom coms as No Reservations and Love Happens, military hero in Battle L.A., and the president in Olympus Has Fallen (with an upcoming sequel).

Yes, there’s no typecasting Eckhart. We saw him creepily transform from Harvey Dent into acid-scarred supervillain Two-Face in The Dark Knight. And he once again perfected sleazy in a suit in Thank You for Smoking and The Rum Diary.

But we’ve never seen him as a weapon (and ab) -wielding monster/action star. Until now. In I Frankenstein, out Friday, Eckhart is more rock star than Boris Karloff, despite the crudely stitched-up face. He’s Frankenstein’s monster for a new generation, with cool sticks to fight off demons in a gothic, 3-D underworld.

We chatted at The Soho Beach House.

What drew you to the role?

The kind of human aspect of this guy looking for his soul, wondering if he's a human being or not. You know, I’ve felt like that before. I mean, as a teenager: unloved and unworthy, rejected. I thought there’s a good story to tell, and I like it.

What was it like to it play half-man, half-monster?

It was fun, but more fun to get out of that wig [laughs]. I had like three hours in the makeup chair every day. They really did a good job with the stitching and the evolution of the scars. I liked the action. We’ve never seen Frankenstein’s creature this way; he’s always been this cumbersome, lumbering figure, sort of inarticulate. We made him much more physical, more accessible.

You’ve been in 30-plus movies since 1997. How do you look back on your resume?

I started late, and yeah, I’ve been in a lot. There are guys like Michael Caine that have done over 100. There are others that do blue-chip movies all the way. That’s very difficult because you’re dealing with so many outside variables. I’m going to make movies that are good, some are bad. That’s what I do. In the end, I’ll learn something and have life experiences.

Have you ever noticed that your characters are named Nick a lot?

I have! It’s weird in Hollywood. If you want your character to be a bad guy that’s cool at the same time, you call him Nick. There are a few other names that get recycled. Like, if you see a guy that’s active and has a great girl and can’t commit, he’s Jack [laughs].

Do you have a dream role?

I’m always thinking I’d like to do a Western, be on a horse, real old fashioned. I also look for family drama. I’m good at being a dad even though I’m not a father. I like to see relationships. I want people to come out of the theater and have felt something. If I ever directed, that’s what I would do.

What do you think of the Miami area?

I shot Any Given Sunday here so I got to know South Beach quite well. Nothing beats looking out the window and seeing all that you have right here.

Madeleine Marr

Read more Entertainment stories from the Miami Herald

  • Coming to town

    Spend the night with Joan Collins

    Cue the Dynasty music and break out the shoulder pads — Joan Collins is coming to town Friday night with her one-woman show. But don’t expect the Hollywood legend, 80, to focus on her time as bitchy Alexis Carrington Colby on the famed ’80s night soap opera. Collins has quite the acting pedigree, having debuted on the London stage at the age of 9 before she made it on the big screen in such 1950s movies as The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing and Rally Round the Flag Boys. Still quick as a whip, the glamorous as all get-out Brit will tell you all about her illustrious career and more during One Night with Joan at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

FILE - This July 6, 2013 file photo shows Bollywood actors Sridevi and Prabhu Deva, left in yellow, performing during the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Macau. The IIFA is holding its annual awards ceremony in Tampa this week. The city is an unusual choice for the awards extravaganza, but tourism officials hope it will be an economic boon to Tampa, which has hosted four Super Bowls and the Republican National Convention.

    Indian film awards arrive in Tampa, Fla., but why?

    The so-called Bollywood Oscars have been held in Macau, Singapore, London — and now, Tampa?

 <span class="cutline_leadin">IN THE KITCHEN:</span> Myles Chefetz does a tasting in the kitchen at Prime Fish with chef Todd Zimmer, April 14, 2014. Chefetz also owns Prime 112, Prime Italian, Big Pink and the upcoming Prime Private. Chefetz is one of the most successful restaurateurs in Miami.


    Myles Chefetz, Michael Schwartz dominate Miami’s fine-dining scene

    Myles Chefetz and Michael Schwartz, who were once business partners, each went their own way — Chefetz to South Beach, Schwartz to the Design District. They now dominate Miami’s fine-dining scene.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category