Aaron Eckhart Wishes 'Dark Knight' Co-Star Heath Ledger Were Around For Oscar Night

'I hope he wins,' actor says on Independent Spirit Awards red carpet. 'I think he's deserving of it.'

On the eve of a bittersweet occasion for [movieperson id="233661"]Heath Ledger[/movieperson]'s friends, family and colleagues, [movieperson id="189096"]Aaron Eckhart[/movieperson] is unabashed in what he hopes will come to pass on Oscar night at the Kodak Theatre.

"I hope he wins. I think he's deserving of it," he told MTV News on the Independent Spirit Awards red carpet, just hours before the big event was set to get under way.

Ledger is, of course, the presumptive and sentimental favorite to take home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in [movie id="306605"]"The Dark Knight."[/movie] Critically hailed since the film was released in June, his work as the Joker instantly became a universally loved piece of pop art. It hasn't hurt Ledger's chances that the film itself was the must-see event of 2008; just this week, it became only the fourth film ever to pass $1 billion in worldwide sales.

Asked what he thought Ledger would make of all the accolades that have come in the wake of the film, Eckhart said, "I think he's very proud of the film and proud of his performance. He loved doing it. He was totally committed to it, obviously. He loved working with Chris Nolan."

For Eckhart, the regret over the untimely loss of the actor in January 2008 is manifold: "I feel bad for his family, but also for the fans that you guys can't talk to him and ask him about the movie and his life. I know he would have loved that."

Meanwhile, Eckhart playfully continued to hedge about the future for his character, Harvey "Two-Face" Dent, in the franchise. Just last month at the Golden Globes, Eckhart gave a long and seemingly knowing laugh when asked if he believes the character is still alive. On this red carpet, he again laughed off the question, asking MTV News, "What do you think?" When asked definitively if Dent is dead or not, Eckhart replied, "He's dead." He then laughed a hearty and seemingly knowing laugh again and walked off.

Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight."

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