Over the last four decades, Tom Hanks has become one of America’s most beloved actors and a staple presence in blockbusting dramas. The 67-year-old’s first big break came with Penny Marsh’s 1988 fantasy-comedy, Big, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that he had top-flight directors and millions of fans scrambling for his signature.
An appearance in Philadelphia opposite Denzel Washington in 1993 and the following year’s epic Forrest Gump saw the Californian star take home his only two Oscars to date, both for ‘Best Actor’. This career highlight saw Hanks become only the second actor, alongside Spencer Tracy, to have won two consecutive ‘Best Actor’ trophies at the Academy Awards.
The Hollywood veteran Clint Eastwood has led a similarly jaw-slackening career, enhanced by his late-career ambitions on both sides of the camera. Throughout his six decades in the business, Eastwood expanded his skillset to become a leading producer and director, earning four Academy Awards and four Golden Globes for his duties behind the camera. He has twice been nominated for the ‘Best Actor’ Oscar but never quite made the cut.
In 2016, Hanks took the lead role in Eastwood’s critically acclaimed direction Sully: Miracle on the Hudson. Although Hanks was a well-established legend in his own right by this point, it didn’t stop the hairs on his neck from raising when the forthright filmmaker barked orders and shifted his derisive eyes across the set.
Hanks reflected on his experience filming Sully in a 2016 conversation with the BBC’s Graham Norton. Although he enjoyed shooting the Oscar-nominated feature and cherished the opportunity to work with Eastwood, Hanks noted a rather hostile teacher-student dynamic.
“You certainly don’t want one of those Eastwood looks,” Hanks announced light-heartedly.
He added: “He treats his actors like horses because when he did the ‘60s series Rawhide, the director would shout ‘Action!’ and all the horses bolted. So when he’s in charge, he says in a really quiet, soft voice, ‘All right, go ahead,’ and instead of shouting, ‘Cut!’ he says, ‘That’s enough of that.’ It’s intimidating as hell!”
It’s common knowledge that Hanks is as pleasant and cordial as his universally adored character, Forrest Gump. Therefore, his passive, light-hearted appraisal of Eastwood’s on-set demeanour would appear to be just the tip of an iceberg of steely treatment. Spike Lee, Michael Moore and Leonardo DiCaprio are among other big names to have voiced rather unpleasant experiences working with Eastwood.
Watch Tom Hanks’ Clint Eastwood impression on The Graham Norton Show below.