But the 48-year-old actor says his most challenging role to date happens to be his most recent. Eckhart portrays real-life trainer Kevin Rooney in the boxing drama “Bleed For This,” which follows the true story of Vinny Pazienza, a world champion boxer who breaks his neck in a car crash.
“The accent, for me, was terrifying in the sense that you have a Staten Island broken-nosed boxer guy from the streets. He has a higher register, which I really tried to get,” Eckhart told The Huffington Post’s Lauren Moraski.
To prepare for the part, Eckhart closely watched tapes of Rooney and also spent time at boxing matches to get a sense of how the sport works.
He also packed on roughly 40 pounds for the role. When he’s had to gain weight for movies in the past, Eckhart went straight for a diet of pizza, fast food and banana splits. This time, Eckhart initially tried working with a nutritionist, who put him on a meal plan focused on beans and other healthier food options. But two weeks before filming began, Eckhart hadn’t put on the pounds. So, he changed course completely, ditched the beans and consumed lots of pepperoni pizza.
Check out the clip above for more on Eckhart’s role preparation and watch our full interview with him below.
“Bleed For This” opens in theaters on Friday.