Tom Hanks is one of the most celebrated and popular actors of our time. He saved Private Ryan, befriended a lone volleyball, led a band of broken toys back into a boy’s heart, cracked the Mary Magdalene mystery, and opened the box of chocolates of life for millions of people around the world. Now, Mr. Hanks joins NPR’s Scott Simon before a live studio audience for an intimate and revealing conversation about his career, his life and how he got his start in Cleveland at the Great Lakes Theater Festival.
Playing to the “Backstage With…” studio audience, the interview starts off with Hanks describing what he was like in high school. Not surprisingly, “I got to school and tried to figure out how to make people laugh.” A few years later it was his not getting cast in a college play that brought him to Cleveland and the Great Lakes Theater Festival in the late-1970s. From funny, behind-the-scenes stories of some of his most famous films – with lots of laughs coming from the audience for his re-telling of his experiences making “Toy Story” – to personal stories and life lessons learned, Hanks’ answers to the audience’s questions are nothing short of entertaining.