Thank Captain Phillips producer Scott Rudin and Tom Hanks’ children for suggesting that the two-time Oscar winner spend an hour on Reddit for an Ask Me Anything session on Monday afternoon. His new movie, which chronicles the tense real-life drama surrounding the 2009 kidnapping and military rescue of Richard Phillips, the skipper of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship that was raided by Somali pirates, opened this year’s New York Film Festival and arrives in theaters on Oct. 11.
Not surprisingly, most of the questioners bypassed the relatively unseen movie, and opted to probe for details from their favorite Hanks films: His best-smelling co-star? His favorite recent non-Hanks movie? And the scene of his that always makes him weep like a baby? Click below for the 10 most revealing, fascinating, or simply silly revelations from his AMA.
10. Tom Hanks is obsessed with typewriters. He even wrote a column about it in the New York Times. Fans might recall that typewriter fetish played a role in You’ve Got Mail, though it was Greg Kinnear’s Rosenbergs scholar who was enamored by the sound of the keys hitting the page. Hanks’ favorite model is an Hermes 2000, and he recommended that typewriters are best reserved for love-letters rather than modern academic research papers for unforgiving non-analog professors.
9. Some of Hanks’ favorite films? 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hardly a surprise for a man who was inspired by the space race to make movies like Apollo 13 and From the Earth to the Moon. But he also cited Wolfgang Petersen’s director’s cut of Das Boot, and Looper as a one of his favorites from recent years.
8. Hanks has worked with practically every major Hollywood actor over the past 30 years, but the best-smelling of them all got on the board early: his Bosom Buddy Peter Scolari. Somehow, this information doesn’t make Scolari’s bathroom sex scene in Girls any easier to watch.
7. Perhaps inspired by a David Schwimmer question about Band of Brothers, one AMAer asked which Friends character Hanks would be and why. I would’ve gone with Chandler’s never-seen (or existed) Uncle Ned, but Hanks opted for “The naked guy out the window across the back alley.”
6. Hanks has a rooting interest in both the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A’s, American League baseball teams that recently qualified for the playoffs. Hanks didn’t choose a favorite, but the last time the A’s won the World Series was 1989, the same year he was nominated for his first Oscar for Big. The last year the Indians won the Series was 1948... Advantage, A’s? [Correction: An initial version of this story erroneously said that the Indians last reached the World Series in 1995. They also reached the Series in 1997. They lost both times.]
5. Reminder to AMAers: This is not the “Chris Farley Show.” Remember… that time… when you asked to use my bathroom in 1993 or 1994? Or that time… I served you champagne… and you seemed exasperated?… That was awesome. Only to you, sir. To be fair, Mr. Hanks chose to respond to these queries… so what the heck do I know?
4. Speaking of Saturday Night Live, Hanks is not afflicted with short-term memory loss. He responded to two SNL-related queries about old sketches, Mr. Short Term Memory and Celebrity Jeopardy, the latter of which allowed him to mention his great “Wayne’s World” cameo. By the way, isn’t Hanks due to host SNL again? It’s been seven years since he last officially hosted.
3. Which movie of his would Hanks like to make again? His directorial debut That Thing You Do. A curious answer, if only because it was unclear whether he would want to fix some of his rookie mistakes as a director, or if he simply wants to relive that experience for pure enjoyment.
2. A fan of Forrest Gump asked Hanks if a particular scene ever made him emotional, and Forrest-Forrest Gump said that the moment when Lt. Dan (Gary Sinese) came to Forrest’s wedding, walking on titanium legs, and introduced his old shrimping-boat partner to his new wife, “I burst into tears.”
1. Hanks – or perhaps Mrs. Hanks, Rita Wilson? – is not a fan of mustaches. “Shave it off,” Hanks wrote, responding to a questioner requesting ‘stache tips. I agree. Hanks’s fuzzy attempts at facial hair have rarely enhanced his inner-Hankness – I’m still struggling with the Band-Aid-strip tickler from The Road to Perdition, and his recent lip caterpillar for Broadway’s Lucky Guy was not much better.