Belfast Telegraph

Hanks: Capt Phillips' mental stress

Tom Hanks has revealed that playing Captain Richard Phillips on screen was very challenging.

The Oscar-winning star, who is known for committing himself to film roles, admitted portraying the merchant mariner, who was taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, in Paul Greengrass' biopic "took its toll".

"There's a lot of mental stress - the anger that goes along with it and the desperation and stuff like that. You've got to start at 60 miles an hour. It takes its toll," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Yet Tom relished putting himself through the emotional wringer for the part.

"I was certainly intrigued by the concept of a guy with a very complicated but extremely unglamorous job," he said.

"These guys, as even Phillips describes it, [are] 'the truckers of the sea'. They're essentially hauling stuff in big cargo containers, and it's a pain in the a**, and you've got to deal with a bunch of people, not the least of whom are your crew, who are a very fascinating hodgepodge. That's a tough gig."

Tom, who will walk the red carpet for the film's UK premiere at the London Film Festival on October 9, revealed the actors who played the cargo ship's crew were kept distant from those who portrayed the pirates until they shot the first scene, when the two groups met for the first time for "authenticity" purposes.

"It was a very unique experience to be shooting that first take. It was loud and scary and intimidating," recalled the 57-year-old.

"I mean, we all looked like fat, middle-aged, lazy white guys. And in came the skinniest, scariest-looking human beings on the planet."

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