Tom Hanks on 'Captain Phillips,' Being Grandparent
By Robert Pace
Among his many acting accomplishments, Tom Hanks also recently celebrated the birth of his second grandchild. While sitting down with ET to talk about his film Captain Phillips, Hanks discussed being a grandfather and revealed what his grandkids call him.
"I get to do the thing of come in and have a great time for a few hours or maybe overnight on occasion, but hey, this is like...parenthood fantasy camp. You have all the fun without any of the long nights," said Hanks, whose son Colin had his second daughter with his wife in July.
The 57-year-old actor revealed that his granddaughters, two-year-old Olivia and two-month-old Charlotte, call him "pappou" and his wife, Rita Wilson, "yia yia" as in the Greek tradition. Wilson, who was born Margarita Ibrahimoff, is of Greek heritage.
In his upcoming film Captain Phillips, Hanks portrays the titular cargo ship captain Richard Phillips, whose ship was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia in 2009.
Hanks divulged that all but a scene in which his character tries to escape the ship were shot on the sea, which rendered some of the crew members seasick at times. However, he says that he is generally savvy at sea.
"I'm not saying I had no problems; I'm saying that I'm good on the water. There's tricks that you can learn," he said. "If it got really bad, I could just sit down and close my eyes 'cause Rich Phillips didn't move around a lot."
While he could sit still and try to recapture his equilibrium as the boat swayed, the crew wasn't given that luxury. Hanks recalls a day when the entire crew was struck with seasickness.
"There was one day where we lost 'em all, just one after the other. All the crew that was inside got sick," he recounted. "They got to move their eyes and they got to do stuff. ... When [the boat] drops that way that it does and you lose your equilibrium, one after another...they all had to dash for the hatchway."
Although he wasn't bothered by the sea, he admitted at the film's New York Film Festival premiere on Friday that it was an emotionally draining role for him to play. He elaborated in Monday's interview with ET that it was difficult to constantly wind up the tension in the film and sustain it throughout production.
As tiresome as it was, it seems as though his efforts to produce a vivid performance were well worth it, as the film is already spawning Oscar buzz. Hanks dismissed the buzz as vox populi and said the only thing that's important to him is that the film succeeds.
"The great pleasure is when you feel like it worked out," Hanks said candidly. "By and large...you spend an awful lot of time dodging bullets, you know? ... Nothing supplants the feeling that you have...when you finally can watch [your film]...and say, 'Hey, that's even better than we were hoping for.' That's the only thing that matters."
Watch the video above for more from Hanks on Captain Phillips, which is in theaters October 11.