Tom Hanks revealed that the advice he gave his son before starring together in the upcoming movie A Man Called Otto was “work hard, but you can’t make it look like you’re working hard”.
The 66-year-old Hollywood actor stars in the new comedy, while his son Truman plays a younger version of the character.
Otto, the grumpy widow who gave up on life after the death of his wife, turns his world upside down when a young family moves in.
Speaking on a special edition of Classic FM’s Saturday Night At The Movies, Hanks said Truman’s first day on set was the “hardest scene” the young Otto had to act in the movie.
The actor recalled: “’Is this your first day? Welcome to the big leagues man, you play in the Premier League’.
“Sometimes it requires it. We compared grades but only in the most discreet way because a big part of being an actor… look you have to do all the work but don’t show the work.
“You have to work hard, but you can’t make it look like you’re working hard.
“So there was body language that came with it (the role), but other than that, the only advice I could give was to make sure you showed up on time and had an idea.
“It’s all you can do as an actor, and after that everything should take care of itself.”
Truman worked mostly behind the camera and as a crew member on multiple film sets.
Hanks confirmed that it was the film’s director, Marc Forster, who suggested that Truman try on the role.
He said: “He always developed his own film and always wanted to shoot, he wanted to be a cinematographer.
“So this came out and was like, ‘Is there any way Truman can play this?’ It was Marc Forster who said, ‘Because he looks like you and will have the same body language’.
And I said, ‘It’s up to him man, it’s not an easy question’. And her mother and I were both undecided, so it’s up to her, period, end. So don’t ask us what we think of him. Because we are happy to work with everyone.”
Hanks added that Truman accepted the role “for the experience” after his son and the director met.
The film was also a family affair, as Hanks’ wife, singer and actress Rita Wilson composed a song called Til You’re Home for the project and was one of the producers.
“This combination of his artistic sensibilities as a producer and a songwriter is amply on display,” Hanks said.
“And this is a beautiful song at the end. I hear it in each of its evolutionary steps. I will listen to it as a demo, I will listen to it only as a piano, I will listen to its first orchestration.
“The thing that totally stuns me is that there are two elements to any movie song, it has to be somehow related to what you just saw, but it can’t be on point enough that there’s no mystery about what it’s saying. It should complement the story, but it also needs to fit temporally.
“It should sound like it belongs, but it should also have words that expand the meaning of the movie, and I thought it was.
“Just number one. But still, I have all the recordings of my wife, so I’m a big fan of all her work.
The full episode, Saturday Night at the Movies: A Tom Hanks Special, will air on Saturday, January 7th at 7pm on Classic FM and Global Player.