Tom Hanks has given fans a unique insight into the on-off relationships, bad habits, and studio pressures that stress a big Hollywood blockbuster set in a proto-narrative based on his illustrious career.
The Academy Award-winning actor has established a reputation as one of the hottest stars in Hollywood, but the newly released book The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece suggests that his demeanor hasn’t always been positive.
Hanks drew from more than 40 years in the film industry to produce the novel, in which he references “crybabies, psychic train wrecks, alcoholics in the wagon, junkies off the wagon…and more than two conflicts of talent.”
The 448-page book, released in May, focuses on developing a big-budget superhero movie with a mysterious director and a cast of misfits — particularly a cocky male lead whose behavior repeatedly gets in the way of the shooting schedule.
And Hanks admits he’s had his fair share of bad days at The Office, not least during his early years as the leading man in a series of Hollywood comedies.
“I pulled every single one of those moments of behavior on set,” he told the BBC. Not everyone is at their best every day on a gif set.
I’ve had hard days trying to be a professional when my life was falling apart in more ways than one, and the requirement for me that day is to be fun, charming, and loving – and that’s the last way I feel.
He added, “What cannot happen in a motion picture is that someone cannot understand the timing, length, or budget. This is a fundamental sin in the motion picture industry.”
You’d be surprised how many people know they can get away with it, and are told they can get away with it, because they carry the film on their shoulders.
Hanks’ first novel follows the 2017 release of Uncommon Type. A short story that has sold an impressive 234,000 copies in the UK – his latest offering is less well received.
Comments about his prose have veered to the negative, but the actor – accused of developing “distrustful” prose while “manipulating” the film industry by Dave Sexton of The Sunday Times – insists his day job makes him “stronger when it comes to really ‘ripping’ it”. .
As Hanks—an avid collector of vintage typewriters—confessed, the book was a release from the “endless pressure” of filmmaking.
He added, “I wrote between movies, I wrote wherever I was, I wrote on planes, I wrote at home, I wrote on vacation, I wrote in hotel rooms, and I wrote on long weekends when I wasn’t working.”
Hanks has also dismissed the waking trend of rehashing classic novels to easily accommodate millennial readers, with the works of British authors Roald Dahl and PJ Woodhouse among his targets.
“I am of the opinion that we are all adults here,” he said. “Let’s trust our own instincts instead of having someone decide what we may or may not be offended.”
Let me decide what I am offended by and what I am not offended by. I would oppose reading any book from any era that says “brief due to modern sensibilities”.