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Tom Hanks Shares Lessons Learned from Playing Mister Rogers That Have Helped Keep His Marriage to Rita Wilson Strong

Junie Sihlangu
Nov 19, 2019
11:30 A.M.
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Tom Hanks had the pleasure of playing the fan-favorite actor Fred Rogers in the film “In A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.” Hanks was able to embody Mister Roger’s behavior, lessons, and look as he starred as the iconic children's TV host.


Fans of the show would recall how Rogers always had life lessons he passed on to children on “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.” He was able to teach through songs or rhymes.

During a Sunday interview with Entertainment Tonight’s (ET) Kevin Frazier, Hanks revealed how those lessons had played a part in his 31-year marriage to Rita Wilson. The actor’s co-star, Matthew Rhys, also sat in on the interview.

The life lessons Hanks embodies

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks at The Forum on January 16, 2019, in Inglewood, California | Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images


Hanks shared how Roger’s teachable lessons helped put an end to some of his arguments with Wilson. The actor explained:

"When my wife and I are going at it on those rare occasions, when she is letting me know that I'm not really listening to her and I'm trying to establish what the ground rules are [for the argument], when we're going at it like that, one of us will say, 'Well, you know what? You know what, honey? It's good to talk. It's good to say the things we feel.'"

According to “ET,” Hanks shared the story with a smile while employing the same calm manner that Rogers used. The actor confessed: “And I learned that from Mister Rogers.”


Hanks and his wife enjoy cooking


Hanks also gave a look into his day-to-day life with Wilson sharing how they spent their free time cooking. He explained how they liked to “make soup together."

The star said: "Like, if we have a day off and there's nothing going on… it takes about two to three hours."

Actor reveals he doesn’t have much in common with Rogers


Both Rogers and Hanks have been called the friendliest people in the world. However, during the interview, Hanks shared how they didn't have much in common.

A similarity they do share is that neither of them would let people walk all over them. Hanks explained: "I don't allow anyone to take advantage of my good nature and I don't know that Fred did either.”

The Mister Rogers’ scene that captured Hanks


While speaking with an audience at the Toronto Film Festival, Hanks shared the video that changed the way he’d see Rogers forever. The episode was from 1981 when Rogers’ sat down with a wheelchair-bound young boy to have a conversation before singing a song with him.

Hanks revealed that the clip made him “bawl his eyes out” and was part of the reason that he joined the film. “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” will be out in theaters on November 22, 2019.