One of Hollywood’s biggest stars has made his debut on Broadway. Tom Hanks trod the boards of the Broadhurst theatre, not doing things by halves as he took the lead of a new play, “Lucky Guy”, written by the celebrated journalist Nora Ephron before she died last year especially with him in mind. The pair had previously worked together on two movies. His wife Rita Wilson was delighted with the experience.
“Tom’s extraordinary in the play so I’m excited to see him. And I’m excited for him to having opening night on Broadway. What could be more exciting,” she said.
Along with other stars invited to the opening was Hanks’ son and fellow actor Colin, who is about to become a father for the second time.
“I didn’t help him prepare. I just told him to get some sleep and make sure he eats. That was really sort of it. It’s been fun. It’s very rare that I actually get to give him advice on something. So when he asked, I gave it to him,” he said.
Hanks plays a real-life figure in “Lucky Guy”; Mike McAlary a New Yorker tabloid journalist who was one of the country’s highest-paid reporters, known for his stories on crime and the inner workings of the Big Apple’s police department. He died in his early 30s from colon cancer.
Ephron had previously written successful screenplays such as “Silkwood” and “When Harry met Sally” and was one of the giants of American letters.
Did Hanks find the transition to the stage tough?
“Well it’s a blast, you know? Is that allowed, can I say that? It’s more fun than fun should be. It’s hard work, you know you don’t take that lightly. And it requires a certain amount of stamina,” he said.
For the role, Hanks is sporting a thick dark mustache, and said he is not sure if his wife likes it or not.
“She is keeping that such a deep dark secret – I do not know. I predict I will find out the day I shave it off,” he joked.
Hanks has committed to perform for 15 weeks and will earn 12.5 per cent of what the play takes every week at the box office, according to a recent Bloomberg report. At minimum, however, he has reportedly been promised around 58 000 Euros ($75,000) per week, a figure that could climb to 120 00 Euros ($150,000) if the show attracts sell-out audiences. The play runs until June, and demand for the tickets is heavy.