Tom Hanks clearly understands that actors can do great things, but they are not always able get the things they want to done; enter the role of producer which allows the actor more creative control over the end product.
With his new film, Larry Crowne, Hanks explains his decision to add the title of producer to his resume which already included actor, writer and director. “A lot of actors are nuts, and they don’t want to do the long-haul diligence. My joke about producing is that it’s getting somebody to do something they don’t want to do, and telling somebody else they don’t get to do the thing they want to do. It’s not easy.”
Yet Hanks says he has no regrets about his decision to expand his on set duties. “I sought to be creative without being at the mercy of the phone. Most actors have to wait for permission to go out and do their job. And I didn’t want to be a guy who was sitting in Los Angeles waiting for a call. In order to change that, I needed to have alliance with people who knew how to make things work. I made those alliances [by forming]Playtone, and I was able to get back to my original desire, and that was to answer the question, ‘How can we do this?’
One aspect of his producer role Hanks is not so keen on, is being responsible for accounting for every dollar spent while making the film. But in the end he feels it is worth the effort. ” ‘Band of Brothers’ is the best example. By that time, we were thinking we can take this [Stephen Ambrose] book, put it on HBO, and we don’t have to play by any of the rules. We can have the cinematic treatment with all the freedoms of long-form television, and we were ahead of the game. And that wouldn’t have happened unless I had the alliances.”