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Video:Tom Hanks Interview - Charlie Wilson's War

with Rebecca Murray

It was a star-studded red carpet event when Universal Pictures hosted the world premiere of Charlie Wilson's War. Tom Hanks turned up to discuss the film, along with Jud Tylor, Denis O'Hare and the man himself, Charlie Wilson.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tom Hanks Interview - Charlie Wilson's War

Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the World Premiere of Charlie Wilson's War.

Tom Hanks ('Charlie Wilson')

Tom Hanks: "Well, we actually read the book first and we figured out if there's a way to make this happen, this is a fascinating story that I've never seen before. It's hard to make movies that you've never seen before, you know what I mean? By and large, they're all, 'Who's the talking lion and are we going to shoot it in 3-D or not?' And this was something that I, this was a brand new undiscovered country. And Charlie was an iconoclastic American that breaks all the rules and yet you're familiar with him. So I just viewed him as a fascinating character to try to get under his skin."

And you also produced it?

Tom Hanks: "Yes, I did. You bet I did because I wanted my name in two places on the poster, because one's not enough for me."

The Real Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson: "I thought it was beautifully cast. Mike Nichols, how can you do better than that? Aaron Sorkin, how can you do better than that? I've learned a lot about movies and the more I've learned out here, I've been out here a lot, the more I realize what an incredible group that they got together for this film."

Was there anything in particular you told them that they had to make sure they captured about you?

Charlie Wilson: "No, no, no, no. The only things that we did were more technical things, like how the Stinger really worked and being shoulder-fired and all that kind of stuff. And of course I pushed and pushed and pushed for it to portray the true heroism of the Afghans and sort of our debt to these guys who took on the Russian army and defeated them when nobody in the world thought they could, except me."

Denis O'Hare ('Harold Holt')

It's an interesting movie that tells an interesting story that I don't think anyone's heard of before. Did you know about it?

Denis O'Hare: "Well, I did but then I read a lot of politics. I read a lot of history. But no, you're right. People wouldn't know about it. I think what is fascinating about it is the fact that the seeds of 9/11 were sewn right here. This is actually the guys who we were funding who went on to become the kind of roving band of people who are connected to Osama Bin Laden. So it's kind of about American blowback, but it's told in a funny, engaging way. It's kind of like getting your history with a spoonful of sugar."

You know, I didn't expect that when I saw it. I thought it was going to be a straight out drama, but this is really a comedy.

Denis O'Hare: "If you read the book, the book is absurd and in that way it's funny. And the movie, Mike Nichols is the perfect director to do something like that because he knows how to handle absurdity."

You read the book. Did he have to condense a lot? Did we lose some characters?

Denis O'Hare: "Yes, you lose characters. You lose whole things. To be a selfish actor, my character was actually a fairly major player and he had to be condensed to two scenes because you can't spend all that time with him. But he was the station chief in Islamabad and was very active in terms of this whole struggle. You know, Aaron Sorkin did an amazing job of telescoping and leaving in just what you needed to leave in, and getting enough flavor from other characters. Excellent job."

Jud Tylor ('Crystal Lee')

You look great in this movie. How did you prepare for it?

Jud Tylor: "Well, I had two months to prepare for it. I knew I was going to be in a hot tub. I didn't know where the water level was going to be. So when I found out I got the job I didn't know if I was getting in or out or where the water level was going to be, so I started to train. I got a personal trainer, started working out – stopped eating two months before. Fortunately I had time. And even more fortunately, I'm submersed in water up to my shoulders so I really only needed to work on my neck and tops of my [shoulders]."

But you got in great shape anyway, so it didn't matter.

Jud Tylor: "Bonus!"

So what is it like actually being in a hot tub scene with Tom Hanks?

Jud Tylor: "Oh my god, it was amazing. You know, I was really nervous. It was the first day of shooting; it was the first scene that we did. And I'm sitting next to Tom Hanks and he needed to appear naked in this scene so he wore a nude sock. So I'm sitting next to Tom Hanks the first day of shooting – Tom Hanks, right next to me – trying not to look down. Not really knowing where [to look]."

And you were really good about not looking down, right?

Jud Tylor: "Yes, I was. Yes!"

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