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Tom Hanks Talks Filming ‘Sully’ With Clint Eastwood: ‘You Don’t Want to Piss Him Off’

“He’s the man!” exclaimed Tom Hanks on working for the first time with director Clint Eastwood at the New York City premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Sully” Tuesday night at Lincoln Center.

“There’s absolutely no doubt when he’s on the set work begins. You don’t want to piss him off because he might cold-cock ya,” Hanks laughed.

His new film is a biographical drama surrounding the aftermath of the controversial yet heroic landing of Flight 1549 in the Hudson River by pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

Eastwood said the 2009 water-landing of the passenger plane deserved to be a major motion picture “not only because of the way Sullenberger handled it, but also [because of] the impact that it had on New York at a bad time… the spirit it gave to the city. Even though it was a tragic loss of a plane there’s no tragic loss of life.”

He also added Hanks was the perfect person to play Sully because they both share a “quiet” demeanor.

Aaron Eckhart, who plays co-pilot Jeff Skiles, admitted he loved the screenplay, but was truly excited to work alongside some of his own heroes. “Clint’s been one of my heroes since I was a kid and Tom is an American icon and wonderful actor,” he said.

After the screening, guests including Regis and Joy Philbin enjoyed white wine and small bites while Eastwood, Hanks, and Eckhart snapped photos under a tree of tea lights at Tavern on the Green. Other celebrity attendees included Katie Couric and Allison Williams.

“Sully” opens in theaters worldwide Sept. 9.

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