Tom Hanks Interview
Tom Hanks Interview
How was it directing yourself, as there’s no-one on set to help you fine-tune your performance?

Tom Hanks

Oh, you’d be surprised at how many people on this movie came by and said, ‘Why don’t you do that again? Why don’t you try that again? Why don’t you give that another shot?’ So much of making a movie is about the communication that goes on. Naturally as an actor, all I have to do is do it. I don’t have to talk about it. I just have to put on the costume and show people what I’m thinking. I got to be able to take that conversation between an actor and a director and a writer out of the time frame because I wrote it, I knew what I would be willing to live with.

As the director, I knew what the tenor and the colour of the scenes would be. And as an actor, I had the ability to control the take, even just as we were doing it right now … so actually, I think we saved a little bit of time, because the director and the writer and the actor were the same person. That being said, about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, those three people got very tired, they got very cranky, and they needed to have a few moments to themselves and have a nice cup of tea and just enough scone in order to get through the day.
Who are your inspirations as a director?

Tom Hanks

Oh! Outside of everybody I’ve ever worked with, who got something good out of me, there is a type of ensemble atmosphere that I’ve actually heard that actors have … like Robert Altman. I understand that sometimes, when he was shooting, you wouldn’t even know that the camera was operating in this way. I grew up worshipping the movies of Stanley Kubrick. I’ve since worked with people who worked with Kubrick. And they said the crew was so small and the atmosphere was so relaxed, that even though the movies would take 288 days to shoot, it wasn’t expensive and there was no pressure. That’s like the antithesis of what you would expect of somebody like that.

I've had some pretty decent primers from people who directed – hard-charging, get the shots, let’s bang it out. As well as some people that said, ‘Let’s see what’s going to happen here. We got it once. Let’s move on.’ So I took a little bit from everybody, and just tried to always force myself not to leave until I heard it and saw it the way I imagined. And still had faith in the serendipity of whoever would bring along something different.
Are there any directors you'd still like to work with?

Tom Hanks

Oh, tonnes of them. Scorsese – come close a few times, but never had a … 8 million people that are now working. You see something like Carlos … jeez, I’d love to work with that guy [Olivier Assayas]. Mark Romanek, who did Never Let Me Go. Stuff like that. You just see so many people and you say, ‘How come I can’t make a movie like that? How come I can’t be in that? What’s that about?’
Well, you are about to work with the Wachowskis on Cloud Atlas ...

Tom Hanks

Yeah, and Tom Tykwer.
Have you had any conversations with them about it yet?

Tom Hanks

Many, yes. Tonnes. Boy, that’s going to be a beast. It’s going to be wild. Those guys are geniuses! I admire those guys’ films because they throw deep and long. Those are uncompromising movies that are forcing the audience to go on a very deep and different track. Very adult kind of journey. Quite frankly, I want to be tested like that.

Then you match it up with the material of Cloud Atlas, which is pretty spectacular. And the screenplay is off the scale! I just want to be part of something that is much, much bigger than showing up and hitting the marks. I’ve had good experiences of being the guy in a movie, and in huge pieces of commerce, like the Robert Langdon movies, and it’s part burden and part challenge. It’s part ‘Let’s just get the friggin’ thing done,’ as well as, 'How, as artists do we make sure this beat is about something?'

And that is a little bit about what the Wachowskis are going to demand from Cloud Atlas, of me, and plenty of other people. It’s a big ensemble – so it’s not a vehicle for any one of us that are in it.
I think tweeting is like sending out cool telegrams to your friends, once a week...
What’s the attraction of tweeting and electric cars?

Tom Hanks

Oh, that! Well, I think tweeting is like sending out cool telegrams to your friends, once a week. If you send out tweets, and you read the tweets that people tweet back to you … they’re kinda gibberish. You can’t make sense of them. I’m not the kind of guy who says [stoner voice] ‘Just chillin’ at the house today!’ I don’t do that kind of stuff. I just try to compose a little hi-tech haiku that goes out to people. It’s a bit of a creative bash that’s fun.

And I’ve always been a fan of electric cars because I admire the technology, and living in Los Angeles, you’d be surprised at how long you can drive an electric car that only has a range of sixty miles. You can drive the thing almost all weekend, and not have to fill it up with gas. And not filling it up with gas means I’ve saved thousands of dollars!
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Content updated: 15/11/2018 17:52

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