Tom Hanks reveals the surprising acting advice he received while filming A Man Called Otto

Virgin Radio

27 Jan 2023, 10:44

Tom Hanks

Credit: Rex

You would think stars like Tom Hanks wouldn’t need any help on set, but it turns out the Hollywood icon received some pretty interesting advice while on the set of A Man Called Otto. 

The Oscar-winning actor plays grumpy retiree Otto, who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife, but his life is turned around when new neighbours move in next door.

The heartwarming flick is directed by Marc Forster, and while Hanks was on the ReelBlend podcast, he divulged the piece of advice Forster shared that he’d never considered before, even after over forty years in the biz. 

The Forrest Gump star explained the tip came during the filming of one scene where Otto is in his house alone that ended up feeling really “fake.”

He shared: “We’d set it up and we knew what it was, and we knew how it went. And in the back of my head, I was thinking, ‘I don’t think we’ve earned this moment in our movie yet. I think this is too presentational. It’s too on the nose. There’s no subtext to it. It’s only text.’ And I’m thinking, ‘This scene is fake.’”

After confronting Forster about the inauthentic feel of the scene, it turned out the director thought the exact same thing. 

Hanks continued: “And I said, ‘You are saying what is in my head! He says, ‘So can we take all the fake stuff out of this and do it less fake?’ I said, ‘Marc Forster, you are the first director I have ever worked with who has sat down on a set with me and said, ‘Please make this less fake.'’’

“They usually want the absolute opposite. ‘Can you turn the fakeness up a little bit on this? You know, Tom, I know it’s very realistic, but this is a movie, and it needs to be a little bit more fake.’”

A Man Called Otto hit cinemas earlier this month and is based on the number one New York Times bestselling book, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman.

Hanks recently appeared on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch, where he discussed whether playing a grumpy character had any impact on his mood when the cameras stopped rolling. 

He said: “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!”

A Man Called Otto is out in cinemas now.