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Tom Hanks and Mister Rogers are Cousins?

Hank's didn't know he was related to Fred Rogers

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is the latest Tom Hanks movie by Marielle Heller. The star of Forest Gump and The Green Mile is embodying Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers is someone we all know from Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood, a show that ran from 1961 to 2001. Interestingly enough, Hanks later found out that he is actually related to the character he’s playing. Ancestry.com discovered the relation.

Tom Hanks and Fred (Mister Rogers) are Cousins?

Saving Private Ryan and Cast Away star, Tom Hanks new movie released on the 22nd of November this year. Tom Hanks is playing the role of celebrated television host from the 1990s, Mister Rogers.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is an account of Fred’s life through the eyes of friend and journalist, Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys), who learns about empathy, kindness, and decorum from the beloved TV host.

In an interview with Hollywood Access Tom Hanks revealed that he’s actually related to Mister Rogers and that he didn’t know about until last Sunday. Ancestry discovered that the two are sixth cousins. According to the website:

Fred Rogers and Tom Hanks are sixth cousins sharing the same 5x great-grandfather … who immigrated from Germany to America in the 18th century.

The lead from Sully and his wife (Rita Wilson) didn’t believe that initially. Wilson jokingly commented:

No, impossible! You’re pulling our leg!

Tom Hanks added:

It all just comes together, you see.

Hanks Initially Passed on Playing the Role

Persuading Tom Hanks for the role wasn’t particularly easy though.  Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster told that their attempt to get him on the cast dates back 13 years. The two screenwriters and executive producers told that the actor initially passed on playing Mister Rogers.

From our very first conversations, we were like, ‘Do we even want to embark on this? Because who could play this role? Who could pull this off? And it was like, ‘Tom Hanks. He could pull this off.’ We can dream, can’t we? And we had sent him the script years and years ago, and he had passed.

Harpster added that Tom’s son Colin Hanks and director Marielle, helped them persuade him.

When Marielle came on, she asked us, ‘Who have you always wanted to play Fred Rogers?’ And we were like, ‘Well, Tom, but let’s get real. ‘And she kind of cut us off and was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. Lemme ask him. Give me a shot.’ She called Tom Hanks, as one does, and he said yes and then Micah and I lost our minds.

The movie released on the 22nd of November and has grossed over $19,413,989 in the USA. From what people are saying, it is one of the best performances by the Oscar-winning actor.

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