Despite his traditional, chiseled good looks, this chameleon-like actor has generally eschewed romantic leads in favor of more complex, often downright sleazy characters. With only a handful of small roles under his belt, he was a revelation as a magnetic and malicious businessman in the pitch-black 1997 indie In the Company of Men, written and directed by his college buddy, Neil LaBute. The two went on to have a fruitful collaboration, with LaBute helping to showcase Eckhart's versatility by casting him in strikingly varied roles, including a dumpy, impotent husband (Your Friends & Neighbors) and an aggressive American academic (Possession). Although Eckhart reached a wider audience as the motorcycle-riding hunk who wins Julia Roberts' heart in Erin Brockovich, most of his subsequent mainstream movies went bust (The Core, Paycheck, The Black Dahlia). But in 2006 he found a high-profile project that knew exactly how to capitalize on his talent for playing immoral characters with a winning smile, the satire Thank You for Smoking. Eckhart won over the critics with his dazzling turn as a charismatic lobbyist for the tobacco industry and earned his first Golden Globe nomination. Then, proving that he could hold his own in a blockbuster chock-full of big-name actors, he turned heads as Harvey Dent/Two-Face in the 2008 Batman film, The Dark Knight.
- Raised in a Mormon home.
- Lived all over the world as a teen, including California, England, Australia, France and Switzerland.
- Worked as a movie usher in Sydney, Australia.
- Joined Brigham Young University classmate and future director Neil LaBute in shuttling celebrities from Salt Lake City to the Sundance Film Festival.
- Has appeared in multiple LaBute films, including In the Company of Men (1997), Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), Nurse Betty (2000) and The Wicker Man (2006).
- Underwent hypnosis to quit smoking and drinking.
- 2009, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
- 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
- 1998, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Debut Performance: Winner
- 2007, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Male Lead: Nominee
- 2011, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Male Lead: Nominee
- James Eckhart — Father
- Ashley Wick — Ex-significant Other
- Kristyn Osbourn — Ex-significant Other
- Adam Eckhart — Brother
- Emily Cline — Ex-fiancée
- Mary Eckhart — Mother
- James Eckhart — Brother
- Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, United States (BFA in Film, 1994)