The actor also reveals how he bonded with several recent costars over a shared Batman connection.

Aaron Eckhart knows what it takes to be part of a popular comic book franchise, and he has some advice to share with actors who are joining the DC brotherhood.

With Robert Pattinson announced as the newest actor to tackle Batman in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, there has been a slew of fresh faces set to breathe new life into beloved characters like Paul Dano with the Riddler and Zoe Kravitz tasked with clawing into a feline suit for the role of Catwoman.

Eckhart, who portrayed Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight in 2008, shares some helpful advice with them, as well as anyone who’ll land the same role he did nearly a decade ago.

The Dark Knight
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

“I think Heath [Ledger] and Joaquin [Phoenix] are showing the way,” Eckhart tells EW about Ledger and Phoenix who have both portrayed the Joker on the big screen. “They’re showing the way in the sense that they’re just being very real and that they go all the way into the bottom of their soul and find where it comes from and they give it to us. That’s what those guys did and I think audiences appreciate that the most.”

The actor is currently promoting his newest project, the action thriller Line of Duty. While shooting on location in Alabama in 2018, he bonded with costars Ben McKenzie and Giancarlo Esposito, who have both also been in Batman projects, about this universe that connects them.

“Ben and I did talk a little bit about Batman and he told me about all that he’s doing,” Eckhart says of McKenzie, who spent five seasons as James Gordon on Fox’s Gotham. And admits to having “an interesting conversation” with Esposito, who did voice work on two animated DC films: Son of Batman and Batman: Assault on Arkham.

Credit: Everett Collection

But the ultimate tete-a-tete was between Eckhart and Tommy Lee Jones while working on their upcoming movie Wander. Although he wouldn’t divulge specifics, he did say “it came up” that both have played the villainous Two-Face, with Jones taking on the role of Dent in 1995’s Batman Forever.

“It’s all so funny but I don’t think about that stuff too much because as I’m getting older, I’m getting more boring,” he shares. “It is all so interesting, though — especially seeing my friend Joaquin Phoenix who is killing it with Joker.

“Throughout the span of your career, I guess you find yourselves in these movies. I was happy and very honored to be in The Dark Knight and all of the tentacles and the connections that it has throughout life and everybody’s life in Hollywood now.”

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