Next month, John Lee Hancock’s (The Blind Side) Saving Mr. Banks will open in theaters. Based on the true story, the pic focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two when she finally came to Hollywood. Loaded with great performances, a strong script, and the first time Walt Disney has been portrayed on screen, Banks is a likely contender for this year’s award season. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin Farrell.
At the recent Los Angeles press day, only a few other reporters and I had an intimate thirty-minute roundtable interview with Hanks. While I’ve been running Collider for over eight years, this was the first time I’d gotten to interview Hanks and am happy to report he’s as nice, friendly, and honest as everyone says. During the interview, he talked about his initial reluctance to play Disney, how he was convinced to do the role, his process as an actor and if it’s changed over the years, the way Cloud Atlas changed him, what it was like to work with Paul Greengrass on Captain Phillips, future directing plans, and so much more. It’s a great interview. Hit the jump for more.