Tom Hanks is no stranger to Oscar nominations and awards. Widely known for his portrayal of characters in such films as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, Angels & Demons, Toy Story, A League Of Their Own, Turner & Hooch, Big – well, you get the point…
He’s been around the block and then some!
And, he has done it once again. Tom has found his way back to another movie where he’s garnered major nominations, this time playing the role of a father who was killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11.
In our exclusive interview, Danai Maraire chatted with Tom about his role in the film, as well as what it was like on set. He didn’t hold back! Check it out below!
Tom Hanks: My first understanding of the story and my incarnation of it was Eric’s screenplay, which I know having worked with Eric and worked with Stephen Daldry,there was going to be a very fluid beginning of what the final movie would be. But without a question … I never even thought there would be any result other than wanting to do the movie.
What is about this team of filmmakers, Scott Rudin, Stephen Daldry and Eric, that made you want to be a part of it?
Their pedigree is substantial, Stephen having made The Hours and The Reader and Billy Elliot, and Scott Rudin I’ve known for many, many years and his taste is completely impeccable.
A lot of making movies is physics. You have to be in a certain time and a certain place and you have to move this very complex apparatus of a machine, very quickly. Once getting to know Stephen and how he worked, it was going to be personal moments of behavior being captured by the camera, as opposed to stage behavior that was going to be filmed by the camera. It’s an odd thing.
But these guys don’t go into the movie-making process lightly, Scott Rudin, Eric Roth too and Stephen. their’s is not a volume business, they make custom-made films.
Could you set the story up for us?
We all know it takes place about 9/11 and the family is and the nation is torn apart as 9/11 tore them apart. And in searching for the memory of his father, as well as to prolong the contact that he had with father who is no longer living, he goes through his closet which hasn’t been touched in a year and finds, oddly enough, a key inside a vase that is sitting up on the top shelf.
That key has the name ‘black’ attached to it and he is convinced that ‘black’ is the name of somebody who had some sort of connection with his father and he sets himself out.
He has Asperger’s Syndrome, which has a very particular kind of mindset to him that is very thorough and very keyed into small, tiny connections that people without Asperger’s don’t necessarily see.
And he tenaciously searches out who that person named ‘Black’ might be to find out what the connection it might have with his father and it takes him all over the city.
Could you tell us about Oscar’s father and the character he plays?
Thomas Shell has really become defined by his son. They have one kid. He has not been diagnosed with Asperger’s but without a doubt he requires a substantial amount of investment, high maintenance, which is OK provided that both Linda and Thomas are able to put in the effort, put in the work.
He’s a completely middle-aged dad who runs a family jewelers business. Does he want to be a jeweler? He’ll never know. Would he have liked to be something else? In the old days, yes. But as soon as they had this kid, that kind of redefined what his world was going to be like.
And it’s a good life in that, there is always something that is required of him to do as a parent and he does it quite aggressively.
Stephen Daldry said, ‘Look, I apologize for turning you into super dad here…’ because super dad is always willing to come up with games and maps and challenges and quests and searches with his son.