Anyone who has seen the raucous biopic “I, Tonya” knows that one of the film’s highlights is Shawn Eckhardt, Jeff Gillooly’s aloof best friend and “bodyguard” to Tonya Harding. Throughout the film, Eckhardt, often squinting and covered in food, talks about how he’s trained in “recognizance,” eventually telling Gillooly that he “knows a guy” who can scare Nancy Kerrigan, which sets “The Incident” into action.
While actor Paul Walter Hauser’s portrayal of Eckhardt almost seems too comical to be real, the film smartly shows actual video evidence of the man in question during the film’s credits, proving Hauser really did stick the landing, nailing the voice, the squinting, and the ridiculous, unbelievable bragging.
“I, Tonya” landed its own big triple axel last month, picking up three key Oscar nominations including Best Supporting Actress for Allison Janney’s hilariously bitter performance as Harding’s mother, Lavona; a Best Actress nod for Margot Robbie’s transformative portrayal of Harding from ages 15 to 44; and a Best Editing nod for Tatiana Riegel.
To celebrate the film’s success, Alamo Drafthouse has paired up with Paul Walter Hauser for a special “Don’t Talk” PSA, which highlights the movie chain’s strict “no talking” policy during films. On the grainy evidence tape, Hauser, in character as Shawn Eckardt, fumbles his way through another FBI interview, and explains how trailing a suspect once got him kicked out of an Alamo Drafthouse. The suspect in question? Donnie Wahlberg. But he doesn’t want to talk about it, okay?
Watch the hilarious exclusive “Don’t Talk” PSA below: