Larry Crowne is an upcoming comedy-drama film starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Bryan Cranston. The film is directed by Hanks and written by Hanks and Nia Vardalos. This filmed premiered on the final day of ScreenSingapore to some very special and exclusive guests.
Before the big premiere, Tom Hanks who was in town for the event, took some time off for members of the press to share with us more about the film, how he chooses his projects and how realistic and emotional the film is going to be.
POPCulture Online: How did the project for Larry Crowne start off?
TOM HANKS: We started thinking about this 6 years ago. originally started off as a man's reinvention, a guy who loses his job and ends up in college for one reason or another. We actually imagined back then that I go to college and Julia Roberts is my teacher, guess what happened? Haha!
We did this in 2 phases, we worked on the screenplay for about 2 to 2.5 years and it sat for a while then I took it up and worked on it and we got through layers of it through the years and while we were doing this it happened during a time where the economic situation in our world changed (America).
So we were able to incorporate some of the realities of the market strike of losing ones home so much so that a new story about strategic foreclosure was on a Sunday and we shot a scene where Larry actually returned his papers to the bank so we were able to constantly expand and reinvent the concept of the film. From an idea that it would be an interesting thing to it would be an important thing.
POPCulture Online: How is this film different from other comedy films or films about life in general?
TOM HANKS: The fact is everybody gets bad news all the time but the way it happens to individuals is on a different individual manner. We are in an optional business in that the audience ops to go to your films, so you have to make it not just attractive but you also have to give credit to real life.
Our desire is to entertain but you also have to include the audience to whats going on. You will notice in larry crowne that theres no father in law whos trying to destroy a wedding, theres not evil bad guy whos pissed off, theres no college guy who wants to make a fool out of him. It's just a bunch of people who are trying to get by in life and i think we can be authentic to what people really desire in their daily lives which is hope for what their future would be. We want to make a funny motion picture but at the same time we want to make a film thats true to reality.
POPCulture Online: How different was it for you being a director from other times when you just concentrate on acting?
TOM HANKS: Being an actor you really don't have to explain to anyone anything, you just put on your clothes and you show up. Being a director is a constant test of all your communication skills, you're always talking to somebody, you're always having to explain something to someone, you're even have to convince your actors to do something they don't want to to. And you're trying to tell them in a nice way that you're really not gonna let them do the things they want to do. Haha! I didn't have that problem as an actor or a director though, haha!
But i must say that being an actor I tend to stay close to the set near the camera and that was the same with Larry Crowne. We were always ready to be one of the camera and it was a full time gig that didn't have a lot of breaks in it but it kept up the concentration and the energy. it wasn't as difficult as you might think, just having to do things back and forth on camera or off camera which was something we were prepared for.
POPCulture Online: As a director, how do you chose the screenplays or projects you want to take on?
TOM HANKS: I don't read screenplays as a director, i only read them as an actor or as a writing sample to see how the writer has developed a scene. The things I have directed I've written myself so I've been involved since the start and it gets to a place where I don't want to give it to another director or someone else who will screw up the hard work that we've done.
It usually gets to a point where I feel the screenplay is so special and I really want to do it so I throw myself on the project.
Photos courtesy of ScreenSingapore
Larry Crowne opens in cinemas 7 July
© POPCulture Online 2011, All Rights Reserved