ByMatt Juul, writer at
MMA and Entertainment Writer
Matt Juul

Most Hollywood actors would try to protect their famous faces at all costs. Former star and actor Aaron Eckhart isn't one of those types of guys.

The man who once squared off against as stopped by the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday night to promote his new boxing film, which stars actor as legendary pugilist Vinny Paz. As it turns out, Eckhart was an avid boxing fan long before he had to pack on the pounds for the role of coach Kevin Rooney.

The actor revealed that he started training in boxing after appearing in the 2000 film Erin Brockovich featuring . Eckhart chose the sport because he wanted to stay lean and learn a skill, as opposed to becoming a muscly beefcake.

"If I have to get in shape for this business, then I'm going to learn a skill, so I learned boxing," Eckhart told Colbert. "For 20 years, I have, on and off, continually boxed. Every time I work out, I rope, I shadow box. I've had trainers."

Eckhart admitted he's willing to put his good looks on the line in live training situations.

"It's perfect to be imperfect, baby," Eckhart joked.

Although he loves getting in the ring, the star knows he's still nowhere near the skill level of a real fighter.

"I could say to my trainer, 'Tell me when you're going to punch me, tell me where you're going to punch,'" Eckhart explained. "He says, 'I'm going to punch you in the face right there and I'm going to do it right now,' and I still, knowing all that information, I still couldn't get out of the way of the punch."

As for Bleed for This, Eckhart took his role as Teller's trainer quite seriously. He started following his co-star around as if he were his actual boxing coach, giving him water, toweling him off, and even offering training tips.

"The reason I did that, I wanted to start nurturing that trainer-boxer relationship," Eckhart said. "It got to the point on the set that I would only give Miles water. I was the only one that was allowed to give him water or towel him off or say, 'Champ.'"

Are you excited to see Bleed for This? Let us know in the comments below.


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