Between red carpets, morning talk shows and post-screening Q&As, an actor can quickly seem ubiquitous during award season. And if you're promoting two movies in the months leading up to the Oscars? Overexposure becomes a legitimate concern.
That's the situation Tom Hanks is wrestling with right now as he works the promotional circuit to talk up two high-profile roles. The latest is his turn as Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks," which kicked off AFI Fest in Hollywood on Thursday evening. The film, out Dec. 20, will hit theaters about two months after Hanks earned strong reviews for his portrayal of a seaman kidnapped by pirates in "Captain Phillips."
Every year, there's always one performer with a lot on their plate between October and March. In 2011, for instance, George Clooney starred in the fall movies "The Ides of March" and "The Descendants." But Clooney directed "Ides," so he could speak about the two projects in a different way. While Hanks' role as Disney is far smaller than his part in "Captain Phillips," his performance is an integral part of each film.
On the red carpet outside the TCL Chinese Theatre this week, however, Hanks was already trying to downplay his role in "Saving Mr. Banks," calling it "so much Emma's thing." (He was referring to his co-star, Emma Thompson, who plays "Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers -- the uptight novelist who for two decades refused to sell her famous book's rights to Disney.)
"You’re able to stack up these nuggets that will work themselves into the performance sooner or later," he told a group of reporters. "I’m not saying it’s a cheat, but it is an aid."
John Lee Hancock, who directed "Saving Mr. Banks," said that his leading man was fully committed on set despite his busy schedule. In recent months, he admitted the actor has become a bit more stretched, but said Hanks feels passionate about getting the word out about their movie.