Tom Hanks will play an older, gruff character in A Man Called Otto, which resembles Clint Eastwood’s acting character from years past.
The new Tom Hanks movie, A man named Otto, takes him to a new career stage where his cinematic personality seems to mirror that of Clint Eastwood. Veteran Tom Hanks’ film career started way back in 1980 when he starred in the low-budget slasher movie He knows you are alone. With his acting endeavors spanning more than four decades, Tom Hanks has played many a character in countless film genres. From coming-of-age comedies like Big to gripping war dramas such as Saving Private RyanTom Hanks has done it all and proved time and again that his vitality as an actor only grows stronger with time.
In all his versatile roles, however, one thing has almost always remained consistent: his “nice guy“Trope. Be it his rendition of” Forrest Gump‘s larger-than-life titular character or his compelling voiceover for Woody in the Toy Story franchise, Tom Hanks has always been the face of brave and honest movie characters. Considering that life imitates art as much as art imitates life, Tom Hanks’ typecast is not surprising, as many actors, including Julia Roberts (through the guard), have acknowledged his kindness and have claimed that he makes them feel at home with his warm demeanor.
What a Man Named Otto Says About Tom Hanks’ Next Career Stage
Just like serious and demanding roles in movies like Philadelphia and Forrest Gump turned Tom Hanks in a new direction, A man named Otto will likely prove to be another turning point in his acting career. By playing a cranky and irritable older character in the book adaptation, Tom Hanks seems to be drifting away from his cheerful cinematic archetype and more inclined to embark on a Clint Eastwood-esque acting phase. Before he played the crabby boxing veteran coach in Million Dollars Baby and a similar hard-hitting antihero in Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood also played a diverse array of roles before transitioning to the older gruff archetype. Of A man named OttoTom Hanks seems to be walking a similar path.
How a Man Named Otto Goes Against Tom Hanks’ Typecasting
Throughout the 1980s, Tom Hanks mainly acted in comedies in which he often played the typical goofy young guy. While this earned him an Oscar nomination for his performance in BigIn the 90s, Hanks dipped his feet into relatively more mature roles and instantly won hearts with the depth and sincerity he brought to his characters. Since then, the actor has never looked back and has stayed true to his spirit in almost every film Forrest Gump persona on screen in some ways. Even if he wears his heart on his sleeve as Viktor Navorski in the terminal or experience the embrace of loneliness as Chuck in Put away, part of him seems as emotionally reserved and innocent as Forrest. Considering how, unlike Forrest, Hanks’ character will be purposefully mean and judgmental in A man named Ottothe film will likely break its typecasting — or at least some of it.
That said, it seems that instead of taking his acting career in an entirely new direction, Tom Hanks is making a U-turn toward his unique and serious portrayal of mobster Michael Sullivan in Road to destruction. Like Otto, Sullivan is a morally ambiguous character who struggles to maintain his sense of humanity for the sake of his loved ones. A man named Otto is certainly less melancholic than Road to destructionbut Tom Hanks’ character in the film is still a long way from most of his incredibly good personas on the big screen.
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