Celebrity interview: Actor Tom Hanks is an uncommon type

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TOGETHER MAGAZINE CELEBRITY INTERVIEW You’ve been stuffed into cars, taken off and getting your photo taken and had people scream at you. You can’t even string together words with your lips anymore and you think that you are talking, but you’re out of sync with what you are actually saying.

By this time, the person that you are talking to who is about 147 on that day and whose interview with you is going to be seen by everyone on the TV monitors at the gas station and then people are standing there watching these monitors at the gas station and thinking: “Well, there’s Tom Hanks and he’s talking to me through the gas station monitor!”

What makes it worse is that you’re talking out of sync and about something which you don’t agree with but that is because you are going through the process given to you and you’ve plugged into the promotional campaign.

So, that made it the ideal setting for a story like the one in Uncommon Type?
The guy in the book is thinking: “Wow, I get all of this money and fame and all I have to do is give some interviews?” Then, 24 hours later you want to shoot yourself in the head for actually coming along on this thing. Literally, you have just got to tough it out.

What’s been the most bizarre junket you’ve done?
In terms of content, it was probably when I did Charlie Wilson’s War. The movie was about the collapse of the Afghan war, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the machinery of politics, by way of two or three of the most colourful characters who actually lived in this as they did it.

Do you know what absolutely every single television interviewer asked me about that film? Showing my ass in the hot tub! “So, Tommy Hanks… you climbed out of that hot tub…” “Yes, I did, at the beginning of the movie.” “You showed your ass… what’s that like?” [Laughs}. You know, it’s far more important to show my ass in a movie than the entire collapse of the Soviet Union. That is not nearly as important as my fat ass!

You started off doing a lot of comedy early in your career and now you are mainly known for more serious performances. What provoked that change?
Early on, you have to understand that I was just a guy who was loud and funny and then I did three years of classic repertory and then I came out of that and I was an actor. I got the job because I was loud and funny, but then I was literally disciplined and also via the experience of working with those professionals.