Sony Pictures

There are not many more beloved actors out there than two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks, even if he’s aware you may not like all his films. Turns out he doesn’t either.

As part of a lengthy discussion with The New Yorker (via IndieWire) recently to promote his first book about the making of movies, the actor got frank and honest about his own movies, his experiences with them, and how genuinely difficult it is to make a movie that succeeds.

Hanks starts off by saying: “Ok, let’s admit this: We all have seen movies that we hate. I have been in some movies that I hate. You have seen some of my movies and you hate them.”

Hanks says there is no way to tell how a movie is going to turn out as the filmmaking process is “so slow and specific”, and you have to “trust the entire process to collaborators who you hope are working at the absolute top of their game farther down the line”.

He then goes on to use the idiom of crossing the Rubicon to illustrate the five key moments that come with making a movie which will determine its fate:

“The first Rubicon you cross is saying yes to the film. Your fate is sealed. You are going to be in that movie.

The second Rubicon is when you actually see the movie that you made. It either works and is the movie you wanted to make, or it does not work and it’s not the movie you wanted to make.

That has nothing to do with Rubicon No. 3, the critical reaction to it. – which is a version of the vox populi. Someone is going to say, ‘I hated it.’ Other people can say, ‘I think it’s brilliant.’ Somewhere in between the two is what the movie actually is.

The fourth Rubicon is the commercial performance of the film. Because if it does not make money, your career will be toast sooner than you want it to be. That’s just the fact. That’s the business.

The fifth Rubicon is time where that movie lands twenty years after the fact. What happens when people look at it, perhaps by accident.”

Hanks goes on to explain how the fifth is the most important, as seen with his film “That Thing You Do!” which was completely dismissed by critics but now, with time, has become something of a cult classic.

Hanks next appears in Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” opening June 16th.


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