Bad news: The Wachowski siblings’ highly anticipated sprawling epic Cloud Atlas has been getting bad reviews and negative backlash, and will probably not be very good. But there’s a silver lining! We’ve had the pleasure of seeing its star Tom Hanks do the talk-show circuit all week, and he is positively winning at it. (Not in the Charlie Sheen way, but in his own special Tom Hanks fashion.)
Usually when a star is promoting a movie, his/her media appearances are very calculated: Get spiffied up, pose on the couch, get leered at by David Letterman if you’re female, and tell the same boring anecdote over and over. Even a livelier sort like Rebel Wilson was pushing the same shtick across interviews by singing or rapping at each one. But the sheer variety of Tom Hanks’ talk-show appearances are impressive!
Late last week he popped over to Good Morning America to do some impressions and got super-embarrassed when he dropped an F bomb. Like, it was as adorable as the first time your dad swore in front of you and all you could do was giggle.
Then last weekend he was the best surprise cameo on Saturday Night Live, especially considering Bruno Mars‘ subpar hosting job. He does so much with so little.
Let’s tally up where he’s at so far: One appearance as the aw-shucks dad figure/respected older actor, then some incisive political commentary just to tie him in to the upcoming election. What’s the next logical step? Why, performing a slam poem about Full House on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:
It’s so utterly random, but Tom Hanks sells it, and seems to be having a ton of fun doing it. Finally, with Cloud Atlas out today, Tom appeared on last night’s Colbert Report. As Stephen Colbert‘s “special guest” to help out with a segment on inexpensive costumes, Tom manages to poke fun at exactly the fact that Tom’s Cloud Atlas PR circuit hasn’t been about the movie at all. We haven’t learned anything new about the film, we’ve just enjoyed seeing Tom Hanks in four very different scenarios. But also, we get bonus Matt Damon!
We should have expected no less from the man who’s embodied the likeable lead from our favorite classic romantic comedies, and who does silly pranks with his Emmys.
Unfortunately, we have to consider that Tom’s appearances are probably a little bit calculated, too. At first I figured that he was doing damage control for his family after his black sheep son Chet Haze inadvertently revealed his Reddit account and semi-explicit r/gonewild postings. But now that I learned about the racebending controversy surrounding Cloud Atlas‘ white actors wearing eye prosthetics to play Asian, it makes more sense that Tom is the guy the studio would push forward to represent the film. He’s wholesome and familiar and funny to all generations. How can you believe the film’s bad press when he’s the one asking you to go see it?