Mark Rylance: Tom Hanks is special

Tom Hanks is surprisingly goofy on film sets, according to his co-star Mark Rylance.

The two star alongside each other in Steven Spielberg’s latest cinema epic Bridge of Spies. It tells the true story of US lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom) negotiating the exchange of prisoners with Soviet Russia during the Cold War. Mark plays captured Russian spy Rudolf Abel, who forms an unlikely bond with James.

“Tom had been to see a number of my plays in the past, and he was always very serious and gracious afterward,” Mark recalled to Britain’s Esquire magazine. “What I didn’t know about him is how goofy and funny he is – not grand at all. He’s a history buff, so he normally has some whacking big book with him. He’s a very self-contained man.”

As well as having fun with Tom, Mark was surprised by how considerate the double Oscar-winner was to the other actors on set. Rather than be self-involved with his own lines, Tom made sure the whole shoot was a collaborative effort.

“Some actors are frightened and concentrating so hard on their own performance, you don’t feel that anything you do makes any difference,” Mark explained. “They’re just kicking a ball against a wall, so to speak. Other actors actually pass the ball to you. Tom is one of those.”

The film also gave British actor Mark the chance to work with legendary director Steven. Mark has been acting since the ’80s, but only came to widespread prominence after landing the role of Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall earlier this year (15), opposite Damian Lewis (who played Henry VIII).

“Steven’s style is to be very encouraging and very calm,” Mark smiled. “And like most good directors, he has an instinct for when to ask you to do a scene again, only a bit faster, sped up. That brings out something more unconscious and natural I think.”

Mark can next be seen as the titular character in 2016’s BFG, based on the Roald Dahl novel.

– Cover Media