Tom Hanks Opens Up About Starring Alongside Son, Truman, in Latest Film ‘A Man Called Otto’

In a recent interview with Savannah Guthrie on TODAY, Tom Hanks opened up about one of his newest accomplishments – starring in a movie alongside his son, Truman Hanks. The two were cast together in A Man Called Otto, which is set to be released on January 13th after a limited release on December 30th.

In the film, Tom Hanks plays a grumpy old man who ends up changing his attitude and overall outlook on life after a family moves in across the street. His 27-year-old son, Truman, plays a younger version of his father’s character in the movie – it might be Truman’s acting debut, but he’s no stranger to the industry. 

In the interview with Guthrie, Tom Hanks opens up about the experience of starring in a movie with his son – he also talks about living out his ‘inner crank’ in real life, taking up meditation after having a convo with Jerry Seinfeld, and lets the world know where he stands on the longstanding ‘cats vs. dogs’ debate.

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At one point, Tom Hanks jokes that his son is ‘either burdened or blessed by resembling myself at the same age as him.’ He goes on to explain how he initially had no idea director Marc Foster wanted his son to play the part of his younger self. In fact, he thought the role would be filled by someone else.

“Marc Forster, our fabulous director, just says, ‘You know what? It’s always so fake to get somebody else to come in and play you, ‘cause they never look right. Could maybe Truman do this?’” he reveals, adding that he didn’t watch his son in action because he was too focused on perfecting his own role as Otto. 

While he had a job to do, he couldn’t help but acknowledge the moment as being special. “I have to be occupied only with what I’m doing as old Otto, but then young Otto was there. But at the same time, I remember driving him in the carpool when he was 7 years old. So, you know, that crosses your mind.”

Guthrie goes on to ask whether or not he felt anxious for his son and while he replies yes, he explains that it’s necessary for his son to learn the ropes – adding that the only way to get over those nerves is to ‘wrestle with the beast.’ He jokes that it’s a movie, so the scene will just get cut out if it’s not good enough.

Tom Hanks Isn’t Always the Nicest Person Alive

Tom Hanks is asked a number of questions during his TODAY interview, but nothing will shock his fans more than knowing he’s not always playing Mr. Nice Guy in real life. In fact, his life sometimes resembles the life of Otto, the character he plays in the movie. Apparently, Tom Hanks gets frustrated at times, too. 

He uses being stuck in traffic as the perfect example, explaining that he does, in fact, ‘go absolutely berserk’ when people disobey the rules of the road. “Listen, I wish I had lived a life where people would truly fear me. But I’ve tried to come in, like, angry. I don’t know, I just make everybody laugh,” he says. 

One of the things that helps him stay balanced is meditation – which he describes as an ‘odd, easy, life-changing thing’ that everyone should do. It’s something he picked up from Jerry Seinfeld, who introduced Hanks to his meditation teacher. It’s something he continues to swear by ever since. 

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And finally, Tom Hanks answers a burning question – is he a cat or dog person. The answer is he gets along with both cats and dogs, but he does prefer dogs since his wife, Rita Wilson, is allergic to cats. Nonetheless, he makes friends with a cat in his newest film – which you can watch starting January 13th!

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