SANTA MONICA, California — Two-Face may have a horribly scarred visage, but recently confirmed star Aaron Eckhart was all smiles as he discussed his plans for Harvey Dent in “The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan’s sequel to the hit “Batman Begins.”
“I am excited. Christopher Nolan is an amazing director,” Eckhart told MTV News. “It’s another movie that’s a dream come true.”
Most villains have a hidden alter ego — Harvey Dent sports his in plain view as the twisted and deformed Two-Face, enemy to Batman and terror of Gotham City (see “Aaron Eckhart Likely To Be Batman Frienemy Two-Face In ‘Dark Knight'” ).
Gotham City’s youngest-ever district attorney, Harvey Dent, is permanently scarred when a criminal throws sulfuric acid in his face, resulting in a burn that leaves the entire left side of his body mutilated beyond repair.
Unable to cope with his deformity, Dent’s long-repressed anger surfaces, creating a split personality and a battle for his overall instincts. On one side lies the good Harvey Dent, friend to Bruce Wayne. On the other, Two-Face, master criminal and enemy to Batman. Tommy Lee Jones most recently portrayed the villain in 1995’s “Batman Forever.”
According to Eckhart, it’s a dichotomy and depth of character that matches Bruce Wayne’s own transformation from millionaire playboy to crime-fighting vigilante (see ” ‘Dark Knight’ Script Picks Up Right Where ‘Batman Begins’ Left Off” ).
“Batman is a complex character, and Two-Face comes a little bit from the same world,” Eckhart insisted. “But [at the same time] he’s apart from it.”
Eckhart reported that the key to playing Two-Face, then, is finding specifically how he mirrors — and where he differs — from the Caped Crusader.
“I’m looking for the tension between the two, the similarities between the two,” Eckhart said of his portrayal. “I want to find what’s similar to Batman and then find what’s opposite to him.”
Two-Face flips a coin to decide how he’s going to act. But will Eckhart even get the chance? Rumors persist that Eckhart’s role as Dent will set him up as the main villain in the series’ third installment, with his disfigurement coming toward the end of the second film.
Is Eckhart exclusively Harvey Dent in “The Dark Knight”?
“Yeah,” Eckhart said, before reconsidering after a brief pause, “Well, I’m Harvey Dent … then I go into Harvey Two-Face.”
And what of speculation that, in this new installment, it’s going to be the Joker (played by Heath Ledger) who scars the eager district attorney?
“I think I’ll be killed [if I comment on that] — I’m not even sure I can say as much as I have,” Eckhart joked as a wicked, Dent-ian smile broke across his face. “There are snipers looking at me right now!
“I’m looking forward to going to London and Chicago to shoot [the film],” the “Thank You for Smoking” star added.
Fans will have a long time to look forward to Eckhart’s portrayal — “The Dark Knight” opens in the summer of 2008.
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Dark Knight.”
Visit Movies on MTV.com for more from Hollywood, including news, reviews, interviews and more.
Want trailers? Visit the Trailer Park for the newest, scariest and funniest coming attractions anywhere.