Tom Hanks Drained by 'Captain Phillips' Production
By Robert Pace
Tom Hanks returns to the treacherous seas once again in Captain Phillips, this time to portray the real-life story of a man whose ship is hijacked by pirates. At the film's New York Film Festival premiere, Hanks talked about the draining task of playing the role.
In the film, based on the 2009 hijacking of the MV Maersk Alabama off the coast of Somalia, Hanks plays the titular Captain Richard Phillips, who was stranded at sea at the command of Somali pirates for several days.
"It wears you down after a while," Hanks said of playing a man under extreme duress. "You got to go recreate it and it's not like we had moments where we got to stop and start up two weeks later in the story. ... I don't remember any of my time off in this movie. I know I had days off, but I don't recall what I did during them."
While Hanks, who dismissed the early Oscar buzz as a byproduct of the Toronto Film Festival that would "come out in the wash," was admittedly worn out by acting in the film, he was nevertheless captivated by the subject matter.
"The details of it all are fascinating," said Hanks, who was awarded the luxury of consulting with the Richard Phillips, who also attended the New York premiere. "For a guy to be in that circumstance where he has absolutely no control except his own [was incredible]. ...I read the book and...I looked at a lot of the video and whatnot, but to finally be with a guy who can put everything in really practical matters, there's no substitution for that."
In an effort to preserve the raw reality of the hijacking storyline, director Paul Greengrass prevented Hanks from meeting his hijacking cast mates prior to production. In fact, they didn't meet until the moment they began filming scenes together.
"We were kept separately for all that time. We could see guys that looked like they were Somalis but we didn't know who was who until they came roaring into us the day that we were shooting the scene where they were taking over the bridge of the ship," Hanks elaborated.
"It ended up being this environmental exercise. It really worked out."
Watch the full video from the premiere above for more from Hanks and the cast of Captain Phillips, which is in theaters October 11.