Actor Tom Hanks addressed the casting of his son Truman in his latest film, “A Man Called Otto,” in light of the recent social-media driven “nepo baby” debate.
Truman, 27, portrays the younger version of titular character Otto (Hanks), a curmudgeon of a man who has solidified in his ways, in flashbacks in the film, an adaption of Frederik Backman’s novel.
“This is the family business. This is what this is what we’ve been doing forever. It’s what all of our kids grew up in,” Hanks said in an interview for The Sun, video of which you can watch at the top of this post. “We have four kids, they’re all very creative. They’re all involved in some brand of storytelling. And if we were a plumbing supply business, or if we ran you know, the florist shop down the street, the whole family would be putting in time at some point, even if it was just you know, inventory at the end of the year.”
Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson, produced “A Man Called Otto,” and she also wrote and performed an original song for the film, “Til You’re Home.” Hanks emphasized the ability to tell stories matters more than sharing a last name.
“The thing that doesn’t change no matter what happens, no matter what your last name is, is whether it works or not,” Hanks said. “That’s the issue. Anytime any of us go off and try to try to tell a fresh story or create something that has a beginning and a middle and an end. Doesn’t matter what our last names are, we have to do the work in order to make that a true and authentic experience for the audience. And that’s a much bigger, bigger task than worrying about whether anybody’s going to try to scathe us or not.”
Truman, unlike Chet and Colin Hanks, had worked more behind the cameras before taking on this role.
“In a lot of ways, it was like he was coming down to the hardware store to ring up things at the counter when he doesn’t really want to do that,” Hanks told TheWrap in a separate interview. “But the other aspect of it, too, was, in order to do this. There’s a way of hitting marks and telling the truth that actually is not that easy to do and not everybody can do it.”
Hanks also remarked that sharing DNA helped make the decision because he and Truman are “dead ringers for each other at the age of 26.”
“That makes an awful lot of the casting process palpable and easy,” he added. “And I think anybody, including somebody with a last name, the same one that I have is going to have a degree of pressure that’s put on him, but it just comes down to a willingness in order to go there and we did not talk a lot.”
Hanks also shared the process of working with his son, including a small bit of advice and seemingly contradictory coaching he gave Truman, with TheWrap.
“There’s a way of hitting marks and telling the truth that actually is not that easy to do and not everybody can do it. If you can, you can if you can’t if you can’t you don’t you know, you got to you got to fake everybody out,” he said. “At the end of the day, I said, ‘All you can do is hit the marks and tell the truth. So find it and do it and don’t think about it too much, but make sure you’re on time and no longer your dialogue.’”