Tom Hanks tells Chris Evans what makes him ‘flummoxed’ every day

Virgin Radio

23 Dec 2022, 08:47

Tom Hanks talks to Chris Evans

Hollywood legend Tom Hanks spoke to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky about his upcoming movie, A Man Called Otto, and gave an insight into what irks him.

The film hits cinemas on Friday 6th January and is based on the number one New York Times bestselling book, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. The movie’s narrative follows Hanks’ grumpy character Otto, who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife.

Regarding his character, Otto Anderson, Tom told Chris: “While Otto is a married man, and the great love of his life is with him, he is able to live only in the present. He’s reminded of it again and again and again. And when he is alone and he has lost the great love of his life, he forgets how to do that, he doesn't have the skills to do that.

“That means he’s lost not only faith in the future, but it also means he gets no joy from the present day and that’s a terrible way to live.”

Continuing, the legendary actor said: “There’s a line that, when I first read it, I said, ‘Meh, that’s a little on the nose,’ but then, when we got around to doing it, I said, ‘No, that actually is a great way to describe love and partnership in one’s life’. It’s like, ‘I see things in black and white, she saw things in colour, and, without her, I’ve got none in my life.’ I get that completely.”

Speaking about another cracking line of script, Tom said: “The other one is, ‘You are not an idiot’. The greatest compliment you can get from a man called Otto is, ‘Look, I’ve been watching everything, right, I’ve been observing you, and there are idiots in this world; you are not an idiot’. Oh my lord, that’s triple A, that’s the best grade you could get!”

Regarding whether playing a grumpy character had an impact on his mood when he finished work each day, Tom told Chris: “Everybody says, ‘Does the character stay with you?’ It’s not the character, it’s the knowledge. It’s the desire to have everybody just follow some simple rules for God’s sakes. Park where you’re supposed to park, for crying out loud! 

“I have a whole thing with remotes. TV remotes. Because everybody I know picks it up, presses the button and they are watching whatever they want to watch. I pick up the remote and I have to press Menu, then I have to press Source, then I have to press Option A, B, or C. Then I have to save video, or household video… and I am flummoxed by that, and that simple rule, that contract I have with my TV set is broken every day. So that’s what I brought home from this!”

On the rare days he does find himself being a grump, the acting icon admitted: “My kids will walk in the room and say, ‘Oh, dad’s cranky, off we go, right back out, [we’re] not going to invest any time with him.’”

The A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood actor explained: “If I don’t get up and somehow murmur some version of ‘Thank you God’, which, by the way, I learned from Mr Rogers. My Rogers said that anybody can pray, whether they believe in God or not. Just say, ‘Thank you, God.’ If I don’t say that within the first 15 minutes, I’m sunk!”

In the film, Tom’s character reluctantly gives his neighbour driving lessons. When Chris asked whether he has ever taught anyone to drive, the Saving Mr Banks star replied: “That’s a recipe for an end of a relationship, somehow, Particularly if you’re talking about a manual transmission… I’ve gotten better at it, I think.”

A Man Called Otto film stars Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Cameron Britton and Mike Birbiglia, as well as Hank’s son Truman, as a younger Otto. On the life-affirming nature and relatability of the film, Tom said: “I think, in a way, that is in everybody’s realm of possibility. No-one has a jetpack. No one flies into outer space.” 

He added: “We can alter the revolution of the world just by walking across the street, knocking on somebody’s door and saying, ‘Do you need any help? Anything I can help you with?’”

Read all about Tom's son Truman's role in the film in the second part of the interview here.

A Man Called Otto is in cinemas Friday 6th January.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here.