Belfast Telegraph

Hanks to skip extreme weight roles

Tom Hanks has confessed he does not plan to take on any more roles that require him to lose or gain extreme amounts of weight, for the sake of his health.

The 57-year-old actor - who is in London to open the London Film Festival with his new film Captain Phillips - recently revealed on a US talk show that he has been living with Type 2 diabetes for over 20 years.

The Oscar-winner said at a press conference at the 57th BFI London Film Festival: "The gaining and the losing of weight may have had something to do with it because you eat so much bad food and you don't take any exercise when you're heavy.

"But I think I was genetically inclined to get it and I think it goes back to a lifestyle that I have been leading ever since I was seven years old, as supposed to 36."

He added: "I've talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles and just out of the sheer physical toll on one's knees and shoulders, no one wants to do it again. I think that's more or less a young man's game. I'm 57 and I don't think I'm going to take on a job, or even go on vacation again, and see to it that I can gain 30 pounds."

The actor has lost dramatic amounts of weight for films including Philadelphia in 1993, in which he played an Aids sufferer, and in 2000 he played a man stranded on a desert island in Castaway.

But Hanks insisted he was not worried about his health, and refused to advise other actors against extreme dieting for roles : "It's not Type 1 diabetes... it's just eating right, getting exercise and taking the right kind of medicines and I feel just fine. It's part of life and I'm just fine thank you.

"Everybody's going to have some degree of health problem as we get older. I think I'm pretty good on cholesterol, I think I'm pretty good on a lot of those, it just so happens that my body type and my lifestyle gives me a preclusion for high blood sugars. I know what to do, I have access to good doctors, I eat good food and after that it's up to the individual.

"And I refuse, refuse, refuse, refuse to tell any of those other celebrities what to do."

Hanks is due to walk the red carpet with director Paul Greengrass in London's Leicester Square this evening for the premiere of Captain Phillips, a true-life thriller about the Maersk Alabama hijacking by Somalian pirates in 2009.

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