Here is a list of stories about Tom Hanks I’ve heard over the last few miserable months, as it appeared that politeness and civility and manners were facing an extinction event in this country.
Once, in 2008, when he was shooting “Angels & Demons” in Rome by the Pantheon, a bride and her father couldn’t approach the chapel because of the hullabaloo, so Hanks stopped filming to escort them to the altar.
2008年，当他在罗马万神殿拍摄《天使与魔鬼》(Angels & Demons)时，一名新娘和她的父亲因为现场的混乱无法进入教堂，于是汉克斯停止拍摄，护送他们走向圣坛。
Once, in 2015, he stopped by a table of Girl Scout Cookies and bought some boxes, donated an additional $20, then offered selfies to passersby as an enticement to buy. That same year, he found a young woman’s student ID in a park and used his charming Twitter feed, which is filled with found items, to get it back to her.
Once, in 1997, before shooting “Saving Private Ryan,” Steven Spielberg sent Hanks and other cast members out to do military training in the woods with a former Marine. After spending time in the rain, they all voted to quit the training, except for Hanks, who chose to obediently perform the job he was hired for and spurred the other men to stick with it as well.
1997年，在拍摄《拯救大兵瑞恩》(Saving Private Ryan)之前，史蒂文·斯皮尔伯格(Steven Spielberg)曾让汉克斯和其他演员在林中接受一名前海军陆战队员的军事训练。在雨中训练了一段时间后，其他人都投票决定退出训练，只有汉克斯选择顺从地完成他被雇来做的工作，并鼓励其他人也坚持下去。
These are the regular-nice acts of a person who holds the mantle of Everyman in our movie star culture. But lately they have signified more than simple good deeds. They’re something like the embodiment of a gold standard of menschiness, which is not just gone from the culture at large, but now plays like a parody of it.
There’s more. Spielberg once said about him, “If Norman Rockwell were alive today, he would paint a portrait of Tom.”
Quick, who is your favorite president? Is it Abraham Lincoln? Well, you’ll never believe this but Tom Hanks is related to him. The maiden name of Lincoln’s mother, Nancy, was Hanks, and yes, it’s the same Hanks.
Quick, who is your second favorite president? If it’s Barack Obama, here’s what he said about his true-life friend Hanks at the Kennedy Center Honors reception in 2014: “People have said that Tom is Hollywood’s Everyman; that he’s this generation’s Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper. But he’s just Tom Hanks. And that’s enough. That’s more than enough.” Two years later, Obama gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
问一下，你第二喜欢的总统是谁？如果是贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)，听一下他2014年在肯尼迪中心(Kennedy Center)颁奖典礼上是怎么评价他现实生活中的朋友汉克斯的：“人们说汤姆是好莱坞的普通人；他是这一代人的吉米·斯图尔特(Jimmy Stewart)或加里·库珀(Gary Cooper)。但他只是汤姆·汉克斯。这就足够了。已经太够了。”两年后，奥巴马授予汉克斯总统自由勋章。
The day after Hanks’ new movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” in which he stars as Mister Rogers, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, he was sitting on a bench in a hallway outside a conference room, making jokes to a group of publicists, waiting for me ahead of the appointed time. That does not really ever happen, an actor waiting for me ahead of the appointed time, versus clearly dreading me two hours past it. “I think a long time ago, I learned how important it was to show up a little bit early,” Hanks told me. “Be ready to go, you know? And to respect the whole process, and I think that you could respect the whole process even when the other people don’t.”
汉克斯在9月多伦多国际电影节首映的新片《邻里美好的一天》(A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)中饰演罗杰斯先生。首映翌日，他坐在会议室外走廊的长椅上对一群公关人员开着玩笑，当时还没到我们约定的时间，他在等我。这种事真是前所未有，一个演员在约定时间之前等我，而不是用迟到两小时来威吓我。“我想很久以前，我就知道早到是多么重要，”汉克斯告诉我。“做好准备，对吧？尊重整个过程，我认为你可以尊重整个过程，即使其他人不是那么尊重。”
So Tom Hanks is as nice as you think he is and exactly what you hope him to be, which is great unless you are someone trying to tell a good story about him, with elements like an arc and narrative tension. “Saintly Actor Playing Saintly Public Television Children’s Host Mister Rogers Is Saintly” is not a great story. But what am I supposed to do? He sat facing me, cheerful and focused and willing. Maybe this could just be a story that makes you feel better.
An hour later, he sat on a panel with the filmmakers and other actors, all of whom seemed giddy to put a Mister Rogers movie out into the world, relaying all the stories they’d heard about him. Tom Junod, who wrote the 1998 article in Esquire that the movie is based on, would talk about the way his interactions with Fred Rogers changed his life. You sit there and you listen and it’s hard to believe that those stories are real.
In our first interview there in Toronto, Hanks sat back in a chair with his left ankle pressed against the top of his right patella. He was wearing clear-plastic framed glasses and a beard for shooting “News of the World,” which is set in the aftermath of the Civil War. In our interviews, he says “oh dear” and “geez” and “for cryin’ out loud.” He is a history enthusiast. He is an information enthusiast. He is an enthusiasm enthusiast. At one point, I can’t remember why, he recited the Preamble to the Constitution.
我们在多伦多的第一次采访中，汉克斯靠在椅子里，左脚踝放在右膝上。他戴着透明塑料镜框的眼镜，因为拍摄故事发生在南北战争后的影片《世界新闻》(News of the World)而留着胡子。在我们的采访中，他满口“哦，天哪”、“哎呀”和“我的老天爷”。他对历史充满热情。他对信息充满热情。他对热情充满热情。有一次，我不记得为什么，他朗诵了《宪法序言》。
In the panels after the premiere, some of the questions seemed to be based on the notion that Tom Hanks is so wonderful and Mister Rogersy that he just had to show up and read some lines since hey, they’re both essentially the same: easygoing nice men with graying hair.
This created as close to a crisis as the people who made this movie will probably have: It has been 24 years since Hanks won an Oscar (two in a row for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump”); it has been 18 years since he was even nominated, even though he has had an unrelenting leading-man career that includes the last three devastating minutes of “Captain Phillips.” So while other movies this year opened to PR disasters around the offscreen behavior of their stars or directors or producers, it was this that the “Beautiful Day” team felt they had to get in front of: the notion that Hanks wasn’t acting when he was playing Mister Rogers.
这几乎和这部电影的主创们所面临的危机一样：汉克斯上一次获得奥斯卡奖已经是24前的事了（他凭借《费城故事》[Philadelphia]和《阿甘正传》[Forrest Gump]连续两年获得奥斯卡奖）；上次获得提名也是18年前的事，尽管他一直都在饰演男主角，他的精彩时刻包括《菲利普斯船长》(Captain Phillips)最后那惊人的三分钟。因此，今年，当其他电影因为明星、导演或制片人在银幕外的行为而引发公关灾难时，《邻里美好的一天》团队觉得能让他们领先的是：汉克斯在扮演罗杰斯先生时并不是在做戏。
At a panel, a journalist suggested that he’s actually playing Tom Hanks, but just “slower.” But the slowness of Fred Rogers — the un-self-conscious, considered slowness — was hard, Hanks said. It felt ridiculous when he first tried it out. He studied hours of tapes, because sometimes he couldn’t imagine that he was supposed to go this slowly. “When you get over that there is some point where you just go, oh dear lord, this just has to be slower, and it’s not dumber. It’s a combination of procedure and behavior that was singularly Fred Rogers.”
It wasn’t just about pace, though. It was about a specificity of cadence, and an intention. When Hanks watched those tapes, he saw that Mister Rogers was “always talking to a single kid, a single person two feet on the other side of the camera screen. They said when you were talking to Fred, you felt as though you were the only person in the world that mattered to him.”
Performance aside, it’s not hard to see why director Marielle Heller wanted him so badly for the role. He bears a somewhat passing physical resemblance to Rogers, which was a good start. He is most often cast in roles that need what Robert Zemeckis (who directed “Forrest Gump,” among other Hanks movies) calls “that classic Everyman quality.” Over my reporting, many, many people told me what an Everyman he is.
撇开表演不谈，不难看出导演玛丽埃尔·海勒(Marielle Heller)为什么这样希望汉克斯来出演这个角色。他的外貌与罗杰斯有些相似，这是一个好的开始。他最常饰演的那些角色都需要《阿甘正传》的导演罗伯特·泽米基斯(Robert Zemeckis)所说的那种“经典的普通人品质”。在我做采访期间，很多很多人告诉我，汉克斯是一个普通人。
But Mister Rogers wasn’t an Everyman. It didn’t hurt that whereas Mister Rogers was the closest thing my generation had to a living saint (even Mother Teresa got canceled, eventually), Tom Hanks was the closest thing we had to Mister Rogers — an uncomplicated-seeming, scandal-free man with a long career who never had to issue a public statement that included the phrase “It was a different time.” In other words, having Hanks cast as Mister Rogers removes a layer of suspension of disbelief that is the burden of a movie depicting a real-life person.
Hanks grew up in Northern California, in the era of the Zodiac Killer and Patty Hearst and the Black Panthers and the People’s Park riots. He was 5 when his parents divorced and he and his older brother and sister went to live with his father, while another brother lived with their mother. Both parents were in rough shape, just trying to survive. His father worked in a variety of small restaurants, remarrying again and again and moving every few months.
He was never angry at his parents; he’s still not. He saw how hard it was for them to function. They never explained things to him. Now he knows, “it’s because they didn’t have the verbiage. They didn’t have the vocabulary. And they were so racked with self-loathing and guilt and et cetera, all that stuff that went along, and there were four of us, for God’s sake, and they just, you know, couldn’t do it. Now, I’ve got four kids myself, and as soon as you start having your own kids, you go, like, oh, I get it.”
He remembers Oprah once asked him on her show about his dysfunctional family growing up, and he thought, “What’s that? Oh, that’s us.” He’d never thought of himself that way. But somewhere underneath he must have known that something was off because he had started accumulating a lot of typewriters. Hundreds of them. It was something about how he never got to keep the things he loved through all of his family’s moves. Now that he’s 63 and he’s thought a lot about it, he realizes that when he was young, he’d often have to move on a moment’s notice and was not in charge of packing, so he often lost things that were important to him. “I had nothing, actually, that stayed with me all through my life. I don’t have anything from when I was 5 years old. I don’t have anything from when I was 3.”
Lately, he’s been giving away his typewriters. Now that he’s had a home all these years, and stability, and a wife who sings to him and children who bring his three granddaughters to visit him regularly, he wants to get a little leaner on stuff again. He’s down to about 120. One day he’ll just have one. The one he’ll keep is the Olivetti Lettera 22, the same model they keep at MoMA. I told him I make too many mistakes to work on a typewriter. But Hanks is more optimistic than I am.
最近，他经常把这些打字机送出去。这些年来，他已经有了一个稳定的家，有了一个给他唱歌的妻子，有了经常带着三个孙女来看他的孩子，他想把自己收藏再减少一点。现在只有120个了。总有一天他会只留下一个的。他想留下的是一台Olivetti Lettera 22型打字机，就是MoMA收藏的那一款。我告诉他，我用打字机打字总是出错。但是汉克斯比我更乐观。
It was this optimism I’d been hoping to capture when I took on this story; it was this optimism I was hoping to marinate in so that I’d feel a little better about the world for a couple of hours a day for a few weeks. I’d been depressed lately and the amount of time you have to spend researching a profile — reading the old articles, rewatching the movies — would help me avoid any kind of subversiveness. In exchange, my story would be boring. It’s OK, I told him. Some stories are boring.