A story to tell

A VER­SA­TILE AC­TOR WITH AN IM­PRES­SIVE RE­SUME OF FILMS, AARON ECKHART IS NOW HOP­ING TO MOVE BE­HIND THE CAM­ERA TO TRY HIS HAND AT DI­RECT­ING

Virtuozity - - Virtuozo -

AT THE START OF a now 20-year act­ing ca­reer, Aaron Eckhart ar­rived in New York City with just $1,300 to his name and not a sin­gle con­tract for any work. Now the 49-year-old is a firmly es­tab­lished star in Hol­ly­wood thanks to his head-turn­ing per­for­mances in Erin Brokovich, Thank you for Smok­ing and The Dark Knight.

He was last seen por­tray­ing famed boxing coach Kevin Rooney in a role for which he gained 40 pounds and shaved his head to ap­pear bald­ing. His metic­u­lous study­ing of the man who trained Mike Tyson saw him mim­ick­ing his voice and man­ner­isms. He de­scribes go­ing out onto his bal­cony in the mid­dle of win­ter and scream­ing in­struc­tions in the pinched voice of Rooney. This was done while en­ter­tain­ing his favourite pas­time – smok­ing a cigar.

Eckhart fa­mously en­joys sev­eral cigars a day and has been open about the plea­sure he gets in re­lax­ing with his favourite Cuban.

“With cigars it's in­her­ent in the me­chan­ics that you're go­ing to sit down for a long time. You plan your day around it,” he told the Guardian back in 2013. “If you go to a cigar bar you're go­ing to feel your bot­tom on the chair, the feet on the ground; you're go­ing to have two or three cof­fees. We watch ball games to­gether. We all have the same sort of crude sen­si­bil­ity and that's good be­cause no­body feels out of place. And no­body else in their right mind will go in there be­cause it stinks so bad."

Eckhart fre­quents nu­mer­ous cigar bars and can of­ten be spot­ted in his favourite in Mal­ibu. He has rarely spo­ken about the brands he prefers but he has been more than will­ing to discuss his af­fec­tion for cigars. He said: “They're ex­cel­lent to study to. You can put 'em down, pick 'em up – they keep you com­pany while you're think­ing. They're a good think­ing man's tool."

The lead­ing ac­tor is also aware of the stigma that comes with smok­ing cigars. But he be­lieves in mod­er­a­tion and still trains like he is a se­ri­ous ath­lete.

“I train ev­ery sin­gle day. I would never want to take smoke into my lungs. I know I'm get­ting some, but if I walked up any street in Lon­don I'm get­ting a lot. But non-smok­ers think it's the most un­healthy, unattrac­tive thing they've ever seen.”

Eckhart is not the only ac­tor who en­joys the taste of cigars of course, and he re­cently worked with one man who shared his pas­sion. Hav­ing been cast in Sully he

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