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Tom Hanks, Famous Nice Guy, Isn’t Always So Nice

Pre-GRAMMY Gala & GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Julie Greenwald & Craig Kallman - Arrivals - Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Pre-GRAMMY Gala & GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Julie Greenwald & Craig Kallman - Arrivals - Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Tom Hanks — America’s perennial Hollywood sweetheart, the ultimate nice guy, dad vibes incarnate, father of Chet Hanks — admitted to occasionally being prone to bad behavior while working on film sets in a new interview with the BBC.

Hanks was discussing his debut novel, The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece, which is partly about the making of a blockbuster superhero flick. The film’s leading man is a bit of an egotistical dick, whose antics often upend production. (At one point, Hanks apparently writes about actors who are “cry-babies, psychological train wrecks, on-the-wagon alcoholics, off-the-wagon addicts.”)

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“I have pulled every single one of those moments of behavior myself on a set,” Hanks admitted. “Not everybody is at their best every single day on a motion picture set. I’ve had tough days trying to be a professional when my life has been falling apart in more ways than one and the requirement for me that day is to be funny, charming and loving — and it’s the last way I feel.”

Hanks (unsurprisingly) did not take the opportunity to divulge particular examples or offer specific mea culpas. (Though one could argue you can’t issue enough apologies for movies like The Terminal or Bonfire of the Vanities.) He did, however, insist he tries never to commit the “cardinal sin in the motion picture business”: running late.

“What cannot occur on a motion picture is that someone cannot monkey around with the timing or the length of the shoot or the budget,” he said, adding: “You will be amazed at how many people know that they can get away with it, and are told they can get away with it, because they are carrying the movie on their shoulders.”

The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece is being published today, May 9 (get the book here). Though it’s Hanks’ first novel, it’s his second work of fiction, following his 2017 short story collection, Uncommon Type. He’s also set to appear in Wes Anderson’s next film, Asteroid City, which arrives June 23.

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