Even the greatest have inspirations from somewhere. And there’s no doubt that, when it comes to acting, Tom Hanks is up there with the greatest. So who does Tom Hanks look to for inspiration? Well, he obviously goes for one of the best actors in one of the best movies of all time. You can’t really argue with that.
In a 2009 interview, Hanks told Film Comment that The Godfather actor Robert Duvall is one of the performers who has influenced his work over the years. It turns out we have Duvall to thank for the best Tom Hanks movies.
Duvall has had a varied career spanning seven decades, including enviable roles in the likes of Apocalypse Now, M*A*S*H, and The Conversation. He won an Oscar in 1984 as well, so we can see why Hanks was so inspired.
Hanks said: “Though [Duvall’s] not particularly a chameleon, it took me a long time to recognize him from one movie to another. He’s not unique looking — doesn’t put a hump in his back or do much more than walk a little different. Yet this man keeps entire movies together, as in The Godfather pictures.”
Hanks reserved particular praise for Duvall’s performance as the reclusive Boo Radley in the 1962 version of To Kill a Mockingbird, which remains one of the best movies based on books. It also happened to be Duvall’s first ever film role.
Hanks said: “As Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, he stood behind a door and communicated something worse than your worst nightmares. He made you feel sorry for him, too. To me, this is a film actor: a man who conveys so much without saying anything.”
We’ve certainly got a lot of joy from Duvall’s movies over the years and his influence on Hanks is yet another great legacy for a man who has well and truly done it all on the big screen. He even stopped the world from ending.
For more on Hanks, find out which underrated movie reshaped his career and learn about how Hanks is making his own version of the Barbie movie. Or check out what we thought of his latest outings in our Asteroid City review and A Man Called Otto review.