What was the typical response, early on, when you would tell people you were doing this movie?
Rhys: It was split for me because if I told people at home [in Wales] that I was doing a Mister Rogers film, they go, “Who’s Mister Rogers? Is it about that football player Aaron Rodgers?”
Hanks: Is that right?
Rhys: Yeah. Because that was the closest reference they have. The football player?
Hanks: The quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
Rhys: They’d be like: “Do you play a linebacker of sorts?” I’d go, “No.” But, no, then you say, “With Tom Hanks.” They understand that reference. In this country, you say you’re doing a movie about Mister Rogers with Mr. Hanks and it elicits quite an emotive response for many reasons.
People just melt.
Rhys: Yes. But you can understand. I mean, the pairing of those two, Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers, is pretty remarkable.
Hanks: Most people thought it was a biopic. They thought, “Oh, a grand history of Mister Rogers.” When I read Tom Junod’s article, and I realized, “Oh, Tom was that journalist, oh, dear, oh, that’s really different” … At the end of the day, man, you just hope you can surprise this audience somehow because they’re getting this [points to Matthew] and they’re getting this [points to himself]. If there’s not a surprise in there, we’re just absolutely doomed. Hopefully, there’ll be something in there that [the audience] didn’t expect as opposed to just an ongoing [begins singing]: “Sometimes people are sad…”
What were your perceptions of Fred Rogers before you started and how did that change? There’s this idea that he is this saint-like figure, and then you have others that view him as this fraud.
Hanks: There’s an old story that he actually has a bunch of tattoos because he was a Navy SEAL during Vietnam.
Rhys: I love that one.
Hanks: Wouldn’t that be a great thing? I would have said, “Yes, of course, I was. I killed a VC with my bare hands.” But in terms of who he was, you have to go, I think, to the show itself. The show itself is very easy to treat as an acid trip by way of … What is he trying to do? Is there a mind game that’s going on? Is it just a big, huge, tremendous feint? [Matt], did you watch a lot of the shows just in order to get an idea?
Rhys: Yeah. Tons, tons, tons.
Hanks: I watched a ton. Hours and hours. Look, the show was on when I was maybe 11, 12, 13 years old. I just thought it was odd. The puppets, their mouths didn’t move. What are these odd songs he keeps trying to sing all the time? I was probably more in tune with all the imitations of him, the comedy bits about him. [More at Source]
Written by Mouza on November 16
Written by Mouza on November 16
Written by staff on January 04
In the spring and summer of 1971, the American political landscape was on fire. In March, the Weather Underground set off a bomb in the United States Capitol. In April, half a million people marched on Washington to protest the Vietnam War. And in June, the Nixon administration battled with the New York Times and the Washington Post over the publication of the classified Pentagon Papers, which revealed years of deception at the highest levels of the government regarding the conduct of the war.
At the time, Tom Hanks wasn’t particularly aware of all this. He was a 14-year-old kid from Oakland, finishing up his run at Bret Harte Junior High, and he had things other than politics on his mind.
“I didn’t pay that much attention to what was going on,” Hanks recalled on a recent afternoon in Santa Monica. “I paid attention to things that 14-year-olds pay attention to: the Oakland Raiders and the California Golden Seals hockey team and girls and stuff.”
Cut to the winter of 2017, and the American political landscape is once again on fire. One of Hollywood’s most universally beloved stars, Hanks is now 61, though he still has a boyish, excitable quality — amplified this afternoon by the double caffeine hit of a Diet Coke and a latte. And this time, he is very much engaged with what’s going on.
In Steven Spielberg’s new period drama, “The Post,” which goes into wide release on Jan. 12, Hanks stars as the late Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, who, along with the paper’s pioneering publisher, Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), stepped in to publish the Pentagon Papers after the Nixon administration sued the New York Times to halt their publication.
With critics lauding Hanks’ performance as the brash, charismatic Bradlee — who was portrayed earlier by Jason Robards in an Oscar-winning turn in 1976’s “All the President’s Men” — “The Post” has suddenly placed the actor not only in this year’s awards-season conversation but in the thick of today’s political debate. [More at Source]
Written by staff on November 29
I’ve updated the gallery with photos of Tom during the press conference and roundtable meeting with the press a couple of days ago in Los Angeles. The Post is getting a great positive response so far, I can’t wait to watch it!