Tom Hanks fetes opening sans Julia Roberts

Schools of Tom Hanks fans gathered Monday at London’s Westfield shopping center, for the world preem of Optimum Releasing’s “Larry Crowne.”

With co-star Julia Roberts absent, producers Gary Goetzman, Fabrice Gianfermi and Philippe Rousselet kept Hanks company on the red carpet.

Regarding Robert’s “Larry Crowne” gig, Goetzman joked, “I think that was the part of the job she liked most, she was getting some margaritas out of it.”

Having co-written, helmed and starred in the mid-life return-to-college dramedy, Hanks said his inspiration may have come from a few adult classmates he knew at college, plus a few profs.

“I had crushes on a number of my teachers, but none quite as long and lean as Julia,” he said.

When given a scenario of life imitating art, Hanks was pop-quizzed about what he would study upon returning to college as an adult.

“I would love to learn to work with tools, I would love to learn carpentry. I can’t fix anything around the house!”

Introing his pic, Hanks began, “What better place to do this than a shopping center!” he claimed.

The meaning of his exclamation became clear later on when he let slip one of his newfound student addictions, “I will be down in Ryman Stationery going through the pens and notebooks.”

U.S. customs may now be on high alert for a man carrying excessive quantities of Stabilo highlighters.

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