Mystery, history feed multihyphenate's fancy

Not one to rest on his achievements, Tom Hanks remains typically productive (as well as typically multifaceted). Here, Hanks offers his thoughts on three upcoming projects, each showing off different aspects of his career:

“Angels and Demons”

(actor)

“Dan Brown put his finger on something in these books. The subjects that they end up exploring are worthy of talking about around a dinner table. … You have a certain amount of timeliness that’s going on, because they do reach back through history in a way that can reflect where we are today.

“The character of Robert Langdon is benignly fascinating. He’s smart and curious all the time. His Rolodex mind as far as arcane, historical minutiae … I think that he always thinks, ‘Why doesn’t everybody come up with that connection?'”

“Toy Story 3″

(character voice)

“Being in the hands of the people at Pixar, it’s like getting into the JPL. You’re with folks who invented the art form in many, many ways and never seem to rest on their laurels. It’s like I’ve been invited to a great party for a third time.

“It’s hard work — vocally, it’s backbreaking, it’s exhausting. I defy anybody to go into a recording session like we have to do for hours and literally emote while facing the wrong way on an ADR stage. It’s not easy to do. But it’s always convivial and very, very rewarding.

“We wouldn’t be doing this if there wasn’t a story where it’s like, ‘How do you guys come up with this?'”

“The Pacific”

(producer)

“Getting it done, it’s a huge beast. And yet it had to be approached in a way that was going to be an unexplored avenue into the material. … It’s now officially familiar turf, perhaps overexamined turf. So how do you do it so that it’s going to resonate in a way that’s going to be unique for the first time that an audience sees it?

“The nature of the struggle in the Pacific (was) it’s not harder, it wasn’t necessarily worse, but it was extraordinarily difficult. … How do you ask young men to go off on a journey into hell on earth and come out unscathed? I think it’s impossible.”

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