The two-time Oscar winner also worked with son Truman Hanks, who plays the younger version of his character in A Man Called Otto, in theaters Dec. 25
Tom Hanks pulled out all the stops to get a role in A Man Called Otto.
“For 365 nights, I slept with the producer to get the part,” the two-time Oscar winner, 66, joked Monday during a screening and Q&A for A Man Called Otto at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
Conveniently, that producer just so happens to be his wife of 34 years, Rita Wilson.
In the uplifting tearjerker, Tom plays a grumpy elderly man whose wife died months ago and who is planning suicide until his new nosy neighbor (Mariana Treviño) takes him in as part of her family.
Directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Christopher Robin), A Man Called Otto is based on Fredrik Backman’s 2012 novel A Man Called Ove.
Tom and Wilson’s son Truman Hanks plays the younger version of his dad’s crotchety character. “I talked [to him] a little bit about some physical gestures and the way to walk when you’re pissed off,” Tom said.
“The good news is that I looked like him when I was 26. The bad news is he’s gonna look like me in another 40 years,” he joked in addition. “He is just gonna have to deal with that.”
Working with Treviño, 45, was a joy. When Tom saw her audition on Wilson’s iPad, he said, “There was just no denying” she should play the part.
And the Forrest Gump star is more than pleased with how it turned out.
“If you want to live a better life, have a busybody Mexican woman knock on your door and say, ‘¿Que paso?’ ” Tom quipped.
Wilson, 66, wrote and performed an original song titled “Till You’re Home” for the film, in which she is joined on vocals by Sebastián Yatra.
She wrote the track with two-time Grammy winner David Hodges, and it was inspired by a phrase that Wilson’s friend, the late Mike Nichols, said after her father died: “The conversation continues.”
“And that idea that even though somebody’s not in your life anymore, that I still have conversations with my parents, my friends that have passed away. And that conversation continuing,” she explained Monday. “David and I thought about this idea that when someone’s out for the day and you can’t wait to get until they come home so you can tell them about your day.
“But also that maybe home was a place that was a spiritual home. And I wanted to be able to have it sung from two different points of view. Like a man could sing it, a woman could sing it,” Wilson added.
A Man Called Otto hits theaters on Christmas Day (Dec. 25).