Why Tom Hanks Just Jokingly Declared Bruce Willis His 'Nemesis' (Exclusive)
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Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis have both had plenty of success in Hollywood, but there's one arena where Willis comes out on top: singing the ET theme song.
"Where am I on the standings?" Hanks asked ET's Ash Crossan at the premiere of his new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival on Saturday.
Hanks sits at No. 2 -- having sung the theme song approximately 13 times, just a few times less than Willis, at around 18. "Curse him! My nemesis!" he joked, before trying to overthrow Willis with another rendition of the song.
"Thank you, by the way, for never changing this theme song," he said. "We used to have lyrics to it. We made up bad lyrics -- maybe you sing them around the office. 'Here's the folks in showbiz. Boo doo doo doo! Going to give 'em some diz! Boo doo doo doo!'"
Despite his friendly rivalry with Willis, Hanks is all about kindness. That trait is something that both he and the late Fred Rogers -- whom he plays in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood -- share.
"Kindness is a word that could be made little of, because it means somehow you're a sap. If you're kind, you're a sap, and that's not the case," the 63-year-old actor told reporters. "I think being kind is understanding that probably everybody has had as tough a time as you have. And anybody trying to do their job has gone through just as many struggles as you have, up to that single moment, so just give everybody a fair share."
"That, believe it or not, is being kind," he explained.
Hanks said he was "too old" to have been profoundly influenced by Rogers while Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was on the air, but shared that he had no hesitation when it came to signing on to play the icon. The actor has previously played Chesley Sullenberger in Sully, Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, Charlie Wilson in Charlie Wilson's War and more real-life characters.
"Wait until I tear into the Bruce Willis story! You're going to buy me as Bruce Willis!" Hanks cracked. "But what [the real-life characters I've played] all had was a moment in which they were trying to achieve something that was of stellar importance -- Walt Disney, Charlie Wilson... a number of other people."
"I think Mr. Fred Rogers is the first person I've played that is not undergoing the great crisis of their business or their lives. Walt Disney wanted to get a movie made, Sully had to save 156 people. Charlie Wilson's war was... he wanted to go to bat with the Soviet Union. Mr. Rogers doesn't want anything, except for people maybe to understand themselves in the world a little bit better. So that's a different kind of gig," he said.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood hits theaters on Nov. 22. See more in the video below.