Guardian: “Welcome to the future, Hadley!” Tom Hanks says from my computer screen, as he makes a quick glance to the right of his own to check my name. “Can you remember the last time you felt comfortable running around with other people?” he asks.
I tell him it was probably the last time I saw him, which was when we were at the Academy Awards in February, where he had ratcheted up his fifth Oscar nomination, for his performance as beloved US children’s TV host Fred Rogers, in the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.
“Remember those carefree days of the Academy Awards? It was like, what’s that place in Italy underneath the mountain that exploded?” Pompeii? “Here we are in Pompeii! Great day! Bit of smoke on the horizon but other than that …” he says and finishes with a chuckle.
It is because of that modern-day Vesuvius – coronavirus – that Hanks and I are talking through screens, and he is promoting a film that will be streamed on Apple TV+ instead of released in cinemas. Greyhound tells the story of Capt Ernie Krause (Hanks, natch) on his first wartime mission in the Battle of the Atlantic. It is, I tell him, a classic Hanks role, by which I mean he plays a thoroughly good man in extraordinary circumstances. read more