How Tom Hanks became Mister Rogers

If you’re an actor, especially one with a household name like Tom Hanks, how do you even begin to play the much-beloved host of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”? Hanks plays Rogers in the new film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” which centers on the friendship between the namesake of the long-running PBS TV series and his real-life journalist friend Tom Junod, known as "Lloyd Vogel" in the film and played by “The Americans” star Matthew Rhys.

Hanks, of course, is also beloved, an actor who’s taken on so many important roles over the years, including portraying other famous men like Walt Disney. So how did he get “in character” as Mister Rogers?

Hanks spoke of having to slow down, be as “specific” as possible and listen. Of course, the red knit cardigan helps, too. But the character has to go beyond mere imitation and singing, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

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