And more from our Gossip Girl: Shia LaBeouf — can he “transform” into George Clooney?
“ACTING is almost like a vacation compared with the workload that a director has. Also, the skill sets are totally different because an actor really only has to show people what he’s thinking while a director has to start having meetings eight months before the first day of shooting and continues having meetings nine months after its all over and you’re constantly talking, explaining, begging, asking. It’s like an actor is a dog running through a park, while the director is a dog trying to herd 6000 sheep over Cattleman’s Pass.”
This is the popular actor, producer, writer, director Tom Hanks, “the man” in Hollywood.
* * *
I WENT to the movies the other day and the trailers that fascinated me were one from England, introduced by Derek Jacobi. It appeared to be about putting on some Shakespeare plays and happens this coming summer, titled “Anonymous.” Then there was the more contemporary trailer for “Larry Crowne,” which opens tomorrow and will co-star Hanks and Julia Roberts.
You can easily tell from this that I’m an old fogy. And I wasn’t much appealed to by other coming attractions such as robots ranging the earth, the deadly life from other planets, the end of the world as we know it, and lots of cars turning over and running into things.
* * *
Watching Julia and Tom reunite onscreen in the trailer as failed college student and mature teacher, just reminded me of how terrific they were together in Mike Nichols movie version of “Charlie Wilson’s War.”
I also started remembering Tom Hanks, back when he was just starting his career. That was about 30 years ago. He recalls, “There was a period of time in L.A. when I wondered if I was just going to lose everything. My TV show had been canceled; nothing else had gone anywhere, some alliances I had made petered out and nothing came of them … no work on the horizon, the phone wasn’t ringing. I had two kids, one of them a brand new baby, and I didn’t know if I would be able to keep my house.” (He made this litany of early woes to reporter John Hiscock.)
These days, of course, you know Tom Hanks is one of Hollywood’s richest guys, an active actor-producer-director, with two Oscars to his credit. And he can call up a big star like Julia Roberts and talk her into co-starring with him and letting him direct her in a film from his own mind and the pen of Nia Vardalos. (Nia is another upwardly mobile and creative person, who hit her stride under Tom’s tutelage by writing and starring in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” She has had several flops since that hit but Tom Hanks continues to believe in her. I feel she is highly underrated!)
The young Tom first came to my attention in the early 70’s in the TV comedy “Bosom Buddies.” Here, he played a randy guy who couldn’t afford real housing so pretended to be a girl in an all-girl dormitory type house. His adventures were many and I noticed him because my pal, Holland Taylor, was portraying an insouciant advertising exec who was Tom’s boss.
I loved Tom back then and I love him today. I can hardly wait for “Larry Crowne,” the story of a guy who gets fired, finds he has no resources and goes back to college in middle age to start over.
I will be very satisfied, I know, with the gift of what they call “romantic comedy.” I think it will beat all that action, terror, fangs dripping blood stuff to pieces.
* * *
ENDQUOTE: “I would like to be George Clooney — diplomatic. I just don’t have the wherewithal yet or the inner serenity. My bullshit meter is tuned very sensitive. The minute it starts kicking up, I get back to truth.” That’s “Transformers” star Shia LaBeouf in Details magazine.
Shia rambles on, wondering, for example, if he’s wrong for being honest, and not posing for pictures when asked, or if he’s wrong for be dishonest, and posing while inwardly fuming? “Which is worse? These are the questions I ask myself that George Clooney doesn’t ask.”
Hmm … first of all, we don’t know what George Clooney asks himself. Second, just pose for the damn picture, kid, and be on your way. That’s how George does it. And so does Tom Hanks, for that matter.