Aaron Eckhart says he is in talks with an Indian director and is sure he will be in India soon for a film — Hollywood or Bollywood

Aaron Eckhart is comfortable working in small, indie films such as Thank You for Smoking and big fat action movies as he proved conclusively with his role as Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The 44-year-old who made his presence felt in Erin Brockovich and Rabbit Hole, plays the President of the United States in his latest film Olympus has Fallen. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman the movie is set to release this Friday.

In an email interview, Eckhart talks about his role, working with Fuqua and his India plans.

Tell us about your role

I play President Benjamin Asher in the film. I never expected to be asked to play the most powerful man in the world.

But as long as I was, I was interested in making him a heroic character. Asher is a tough guy, even though in this film he is pretty badly abused.

What attracted you to the role?

I love action movies, and this is just a straight-up, full-on, full-tilt action, which I liked being a part of.

How was it playing the President of the United States?

Well it was great! We all have different roles to play. Inside of both myself and the role I played are men who are fragile like egg shells although our outsides are built like armour.

What was the experience like working with Antoine Fuqua?

Antoine is a very calm person. He has total trust in his actors. If he hired you, then he trusts you.

Antoine brings strength, knowledge and enormous experience to the table. He’s very quiet, but he knows exactly what he wants, which is refreshing for an actor.

He always allows you to experiment and push it to the next level. He works differently with every actor, because he wants to get the best from each of us. I have a huge confidence in Antoine Fuqua, where whatever he can do, he’s going to set out and make a kick-ass movie no matter what.

What was the preparation you had to do for the film?

Being an actor is not far from being in political office. You have to watch what you say and what you do. I’m actually way too fluid to be a politician. If I were a politician I would be a politician at the local level but certainly not at a national level.

I have also been trained in boxing ever since Erin Brockovich. Now I do mixed martial arts. I think it is important for every actor to know how to ride a horse, shoot a gun, drive a car and ride a motorcycle because you never know when you will be asked to do these activities in a film. I consider myself to be a “Human Behaviourologist” because I find human beings fascinating and I am constantly observing humans. This skill really helps me to convince an audience.

Any plans of coming to India?

I am a passionate photographer and I think it would be great to take photos in India. I’m just in love with the mysticism of the place. I had a conversation with an Indian director whom I can’t name because of various reasons but it was quite recent and I am very open to either a Hollywood or Bollywood film that takes place in India. I am certain it won’t be too long before I go to India.