The late Nora Ephron's screenplay could turn Tom Hanks into a jerk

By Steven Mitchell,

Is it possible to portray Tom Hanks as an unlikable guy? Only Hanks himself can prove it to us.

@TomHanks at Simply Shakespeare Fest LA. on Twitpic

Tom Hanks has acted in a wide variety of genres, from movies to Broadway, reports Complex. And this spring, one of the most likable guys in Hollywood is playing a very unlikable character, based on real-life tabloid journalist Mike McAlary, in the 80s-era play Lucky Guy.

The late Nora Ephron, a longtime friend of Hanks, wrote the play and had always wanted him to take on the role of McAlary. Hanks, on the other hand, disliked the character because he seemed too much of a “jerk."

"I am afraid of blowing it myself...I have just as impressive a track record of movies and projects that didn't work out,” said Hanks on acting in his late friend's project. “But when I walk home at night, that's when I hear Nora's voice the clearest.”

Hanks reconsidered the role in 2011 when he ran into Ephron while promoting Larry Crowne. Ephron turned her work into a play, and Hanks was then drawn to McAlary’s “swagger."

“Look, the title is Lucky Guy. It’s about somebody who is almost good enough to deserve what he achieves. And I understand that,” Hanks said.

Once Hanks signed on, Ephron began working around the clock to have the character of McAlary come into focus. Ephron died last June at the age of 71 to a secret battle with leukemia.

Lucky Guy opens at the Broadhurst Theater on March 1 and will run for fifteen weeks.

Photo Courtesy of TwitPic.com

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