Aaron Eckhart Pretended to Lose a Child in Support Group While Preparing For Role in Rabbit Hole

Entertainment Jan. 23, 2014 AT 3:00PM
Aaron Eckhart Aaron Eckhart reveals he attended a support group for parents who lost their children and pretended to lose his own child while preparing for his role in 2010's Rabbit Hole. Credit: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

Taking method acting to the extremes! Actor Aaron Eckhart was a guest on The Howard Stern Show on Jan. 21 where he opened up about his drastic acting tactics while preparing for the 2010 film Rabbit Hole with Nicole Kidman

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When host Howard Stern said he'd learned that Eckhart, 45, had visited a support group for parents who lost children and proceeded to pretend to have lost a child himself, the I, Frankenstein actor tried to explain. 

"It's rude," the childless actor admitted. "It's very sensitive to go in there, of course it is. I did the research. The gathering is very quiet. There's 10 people, couples. [Their children had passed away] very recently, it's fresh. You're sitting in sort of a circle. Then one person goes, then two, three, then it gets to me. And by that point you're just so flushed that you just start going and giving the details of the story."

Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie Corbett (Aaron Eckhart) in 2010's Rabbit Hole are a couple struggling to come to grips with the loss of their child.
Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie Corbett (Aaron Eckhart) in 2010's Rabbit Hole are a couple struggling to come to grips with the loss of their child.
Credit: David Giesbrecht/Lionsgate

Eckhart revealed he got entirely wrapped up in the experience, and even had an emotional breakdown. 

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"Oh yeah, 100 percent, I lost it," he said. "You really believe that you just lost a child. You are as close to reality in that sense as possible. I don't want to be rude to people who have lost a child, but yeah, you feel right there, you feel like your character."

Eckhart's Rabbit Hole costar, Nicole Kidman, did not choose to participate, and the actor laughed off the idea of her joining him when talking to Stern, joking, "No, she was in the Bahamas or somewhere."

Eckhart also revealed that he's never booked an acting gig based off of an audition. He thinks that's because he requires props and other actors to work off of to give the best performance possible.

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"I don't want to be an actor, I just react to things, what's real," he said.

Aaron Eckhart praised the late Heath Ledger's role in The Dark Knight, saying he never broke character.
Aaron Eckhart praised the late Heath Ledger's role in The Dark Knight, saying he never broke character.
Credit: Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros. Pictures

One actor he praised was the late Heath Ledger, who starred with Eckhart in the 2008 smash The Dark Knight. He was highly complimentary of Ledger, whose role as The Joker earned him a posthumous Oscar. 

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"I love talking about Heath," Eckhart said. "I looked at him with such admiration. He had such balls to do that. It's so difficult to tell everybody, 'I'm not going to be the greatest guy today,' or sit in the corner and swear by myself. Or hit the wall. He's talking to himself, and everybody would leave him alone. He raised everybody's game, he raised the level of the film and the genre itself."

Tell Us: What do you think of Aaron Eckhart's acting techniques? 

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