After decades in the movies, one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, two time Oscar winner Tom Hanks, is set to make his Broadway debut.
You know, if someone had said to me, start growing your moustache in November, I would have started growing my mustache in November.
I’m Patrick Healy for the New York Times. I joined Hanks on his first tour of the Broadhurst theater, where he will star in Nora Ephron’s new play, Lucky Guy, which begins preview performances March 1st, and officially opens a few weeks later.
Is there any reason you didn’t pick the star dressing room?
Is this not the star dressing room?
This is pretty starry…
Well, I understand there’s one downstairs, but that’s moved from everything! Everybody’s gonna be up here making jokes and carrying on….
Lucky Guy is the story of Mike Macalary, a legendary New York City cop reporter and set in the 1980s and 90s.
I don’t want to sound like ridiculous, but it’s as much fun as it ever is…there’s nothing like doing a show, being in a play and it’s as much fun as it has ever been. Now the stakes are things that wake me up every now again at 2:30 in the morning and make me pace around the bedroom.
I was going to ask you about that. For you, what are those stakes like?
Who was it that said about actors that we’re all tightrope walkers? You’re working without a net, and there’s no mercy, there’s no mercy whatsoever. It’s not a process in which you can win people over by anyway other than telling a compelling story.
Directed by Tony award winner George C. Wolff, Lucky Guy is the last play written by Nora Ephron before her death in 2012. Ephron, a former journalist turned filmmaker tried for years to interest Hanks in the role after working with him on the movies Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.
What was it about this play, Tom, that made you excited, that made you inspired, that got in your head…?
I had never seen this in a play form. Quick! Name plays about journalism…you got The Front Page…
It’s a comedies ….
And some other movies…All the President’s Men…movies, yeah, they can get into it and do it in a different way, but on stage I had never seen anything like it.
So I thought that Nora had captured that perfect brand of lighting in a bottle that is based on her personal experience as well as…she never left it.
She always read it, she always covered it, I think she read every one of the New York paper, she knew all the economists; she would see the rise and fall of particular writers.
How much are you missing Nora?
It’s horrible. It’s terrible. I have to admit that one of the reasons I wanted to do this was, quite frankly, to hang with Nora.
Unfortunately, I have to settle for second place, I’m hanging with the essence of Nora and I would probably just say her sensibility instead of Nora herself.