How ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ Director Got ‘Boisterous’ Tom Hanks to Capture Mr Rogers’ ‘Stillness’ | Video

”It was calming him to the Fred way of being and asking him to connect in a really deep, genuine way, which I think is scary and vulnerable for an actor to do,“ Heller says

Both Tom Hanks and Fred Rogers are known to be a couple of the nicest men ever in the entertainment industry. But Marielle Heller, director of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” said the two have very different energies — and that Hanks had to actually take it down a notch to get into the right frame of mind to play the PBS kids TV legend.

“Tom Hanks is so charismatic. He really walks into a room, he meets everybody, remembers everybody’s name, he really connects with you, he’s really charming,” Heller told TheWrap Editor in Chief Sharon Waxman at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film premiered in September.

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Brian Welk

Film Reporter • • Twitter: @brianwelk