Tom Hanks on How Mister Rogers Helped Keep His Marriage to Rita Wilson Strong (Exclusive)

By
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks at 'the post' premiere in London
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

To capture the essence and the humanity of the late, great Fred Rogers, Tom Hanks worked hard to embody his earnestness, his nuance and his emotional maturity. He also took some of his famous lessons to heart.

In A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, Hanks stars as the iconic children's TV host, who added magic to the lives of millions of children through his PBS show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

As it turns out, the life lessons Rogers taught to kids, usually through song or rhymes -- such as using your words when your mad and directly addressing how you feel in a given situation -- now play a role in Hanks' marriage to Rita Wilson.

ET's Kevin Frazier sat down with Hanks -- and his A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood co-star Matthew Rhys -- on Sunday, and he opened up about how the teachable lessons from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood has put an end to some of their occasional spats.

"When my wife and I are going at it on those rare occasions, when she is letting me know that I'm not really listening to her and I'm trying to establish what the ground rules are [for the argument], when we're going at it like that, one of us will say, 'Well, you know what? You know what, honey? It's good to talk. It's good to say the things we feel,'" Hanks said with a smile, employing a calm Rogers-esque tone while recalling the lesson of using your words.

"And I learned that from Mister Rogers," Hanks added.

The actor revealed, however, that the couple -- who have been married for 31 years -- usually spend their free time together on their shared cooking hobby.

"We make soup together," Hanks said, giving fans a look inside his adorable marriage. "Like, if we have a day off and there's nothing going on… it takes about two to three hours."

It seems like spending the afternoon cooking soup with your favorite person would have been exactly something Rogers himself would have been in favor of.

However, while both Rogers and Hanks have been called the friendliest people in the world, Hanks says they don't have all that much in common. Although one similarity is that neither of them, despite their jovial personalities, would let people walk all over them.

"I don't allow anyone to take advantage of my good nature and I don't know that Fred did either," Hanks shared.

"I'm nothing like Fred Rogers in any way, shape, or form," he added. "Except, I think, I wake up in the morning thinking, 'Hey, it's a nice day, it's a good day. Let's try to make it a little bit better."

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood comes out Nov. 22.

RELATED CONTENT:

Tom Hanks Shares Why He Rarely Plays Villains in Movies

Tom Hanks to Receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Golden Globes

Tom Hanks on Why Mister Rogers Isn't Like Other Real People He's Played (Exclusive)

'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' Trailer: Tom Hanks Pulls on the Heartstrings as Mister Rogers

Related Gallery