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Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2013

Tom Hanks discusses playing Walt Disney, ‘Saving Mr Banks’

 Tom Hanks will play Walt Disney in the upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks and spoke with Collider about the film, the role and what was it like to play Disney.

saving-mr-banks-teaser-poster“Oh I thought, “Oh hell.”  The burden, you know.  Honestly – the responsibility.  I heard about it first from Tony To.  Tony is now – I think he’s head of physical production at Disney.  But he and I did – we executive produced and worked and created on From The Earth to the MoonBand of BrothersThe Pacific.  We had done a lot of stuff.  So he was over there.  We have lunch every now and again.  He says, “You’ve got to play Walt Disney in this movie we have.”  And I said, “Geez, who needs that pressure.”  Then Bob Iger called me which, you know, he even said, “Look, this is not usually the way this works.  I call you and say well will you do it.”  And I said, “Well, I haven’t” – I hadn’t read the screenplay.  So right off the bat it’s like – I know I’ve turned playing real people into a bit of a cottage industry. ”

Hanks then explained what he tapped into for the role.

” I had read a biography of Walt Disney years and years ago that was very vibrant.  And I knew enough of the history of the man to say, “What’s gonna go down?”  And then reading the screenplay I honestly – you can tell if you want to do a movie 12 pages in just because the DNA of the whole story and the whole philosophy of the movie’s all right there.  And because it was about this odd creative process and Walt was at the top of his game – Walt was already the Disneyland guy and, you know, Walt was actually busy building – I knew he was building Disney World at the same time.  So it was a different Walt Disney than I had ever seen. ”

He later reflected on unique quality of Disney to “build an empire.”

“…he said, “How come this is the only carousel I get to bring my daughters to.  There should be a place where a dad can bring his kids.”  And originally Disneyland was just gonna be this little amusement park that was over on the L.A. River on Buena Vista.  I can show you the plans.  So he was a guy that was always pouring money into his dream literally.  I mean, it sounds hokey but he had – call them dreams, ideas, whatever you want to do.  He poured all of his money into those.  And when you – I’ve heard extensive conversations he’s had about the history of Disney and he glosses over all of the successes and talks instead about the failures, the difficulties, the payroll, the box office. How much Shostakovich costed him for Fantasia.  Is it Shostakovich?”

Check out the full interview HERE

Saving Mr Banks comes to theaters on December 20, 2013.

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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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