When Tom Hanks graces the screen, it seems as though the art of acting flows effortlessly from him. While undoubtedly possessing immense talent, facing Clint Eastwood in a collaborative endeavour proves to be an entirely different story.
Tom Hanks, widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in cinematic history, has adorned the casts of numerous masterpieces and collaborated with some of the most distinguished directors in the industry. Yet, when he took on the leading role in one of Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed films, he found himself subjected to the exacting standards of the Hollywood legend.
Hanks went so far as to liken his experience to being worked tirelessly, drawing a parallel to his role in “Sully.” Though the film stands as a shining example of a true-story adaptation, the process wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
Speaking on The Graham Norton Show in 2016, Hanks shed light on the unique working style Eastwood employs: “He treats his actors like horses. Because when he was doing Rawhide [in the 1960s]… a Western, he had all these old directors who made a big deal about yelling ‘action! We’re rolling, all right, stand by everybody ready, action!’ And every time they would do that the horses would bolt. So when you’re in a Clint Eastwood movie you don’t even know the camera is rolling and you just hear over your shoulder, ‘All right, go ahead,’ [in a very quiet voice].”
This hushed approach, borne from Eastwood’s early experiences with Westerns to avoid startling the horses, has evidently become a hallmark of his directorial style. However, Hanks clarified that despite its seemingly gentle nature, it was, in fact, “intimidating as hell.”
Perhaps it’s the tone, or perhaps it’s simply a byproduct of working under the discerning gaze of a Hollywood luminary. Eastwood, a seasoned veteran of Westerns, is renowned for his unwavering discipline and adherence to principles, especially in the realm of direction. It appears that his reputation for exactitude is well-founded.
The film that brought these two formidable talents together, “Sully,” not only stands as one of Clint Eastwood’s more recent cinematic achievements but also ranks among the finest entries in Tom Hanks’ illustrious filmography of recent years.