- Title: VARIOUS: Tom Hanks attends the world premiere of Larry Crowne
- Date: 7th June 2011
- Summary: VARIOUS OF SINGER-SONGWRITER SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR CLOSING THE PREMIERE WITH ONE OF HER HIT RECORDS, "GROOVEJET"
- Embargoed: 22nd June 2011 13:00
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA9I36NXE3DWLWCW25OKJNHXICT
- Story Text: Actor, writer, producer and director Tom Hanks was on the red carpet at the world premiere of his film, "Larry Crowne", in at Westfield London, London, England on Monday evening (June 06).
The Hollywood star received an enthusiastic welcome from crowds, some of whom had been waiting to see him since early in the morning.
In "Larry Crowne" Hanks reunites with his "Charlie Wilson's War" co-star Julia Roberts -- who was absent from the premiere -- for the dramatic comedy about how the effects of the current recession inspire one redundant employee to reinvent himself.
The story sees Larry Crowne (Hanks), a superstar team leader at the big-box company he's worked for since his time in the Navy, made redundant as the company 'restructures'. The reason given to Larry is he cannot be taken to the next level -- management -- because he doesn't have a college education.
In trouble with his mortgage repayments after buying his ex-wife out, and unclear as to what to do next, Larry heads to his local college to start over.
In his public speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes (Roberts), who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her porn-obsessed husband.
The simple guy who has every reason to think his life has stalled will come to learn an unexpected lesson: when you think everything worth having has passed you by, you might just discover your reason to live.
Asked how someone with his fame and money could relate to an ordinary man in the street who has been made redundant, Hanks says the idea was to keep things realistic as possible.
"With this we were always trying to make a very authentic movie about people who would be recognisable, almost in any culture, and despite the fancy suit, I think I have the countenance that can pull that off, and you know, I like to fancy myself as living in the real world that can recognise it, that we're trying to recreate it," said Hanks.
The star also said he could relate to the experiences that Larry goes through as he's been in his shoes in the past, and still understands the cynicism that can develop when things are not going that well.
"I remember the experience of going to a school for the first time and being intimidated, and it's not unlike any number of situations you experience in show business, you know," said Hanks.
"The first day you're showing up on a job and you're working with someone who's intimidating, or very impressive, or can fire you, you know, no matter how big a deal you think you are, you never lose that fear. You never lose that fight against cynicism."
Hanks had to learn how to ride a scooter and get his licence for the role of Larry. Like his character, Hanks discovers the freedom and advantages riding a two-wheel vehicle can bring.
"I loved it. I still have it, and you know, you can be pretty anonymous putting on a helmet and some thick wrap-around glasses -- nobody pays any attention to the person on the scooter. Freedom, freedom on two wheels," said Hanks.
Singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis Bextor -- of "Groovejet" fame with Italian DJ Spiller -- gave two performances on the night to open and close the premiere.
Other guests included UK and international celebrities, such as Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood and girlfriend Ana Araujo, former UK prime minister Tony Blair's wife, Cherie Blair, singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, and actor, singer and TV presenter David 'The Hoff' Hasselhoff.
The Hoff, accompanied by Welsh girlfriend Hayley Roberts, says he goes back a long way with Hanks, back to the days when both of them were starting out and did ABC Network pilots together. Hasselhoff says the reason Hanks is still in the business is because he is "so humble and a regular person", which is the feeling that he still gets from Hanks, and admitted that he doesn't get that from anyone else in Hollywood.
With a good word said about his long-time friend, Hasselhoff also had some interesting, if controversial advice for anyone who has a hot teacher like Roberts in their classroom.
"Forget about concentrating. Go with your feelings and just fantasize about her all day long because that's what being a child's about; is fantasizing about your teachers, and then when you're a teacher, it's about fantasizing about your students. A-ha, that's what life's about; it's about feeling and getting woo-hoo! That's what you need. That's right," said a confident-sounding Hasselhoff.
Best known for his romantic comedies like "Sleepless In Seattle" (1993), multi-Award-winning Hanks first found world-wide notoriety in family comedies like "Big" (1988) and "Turner & Hooch" (1989), before achieving international acclaimed in "Philadelphia" as AIDS sufferer Andrew Beckett (Oscar for Best Actor in 1993), in "Forrest Gump" as Forrest Gump (Oscar for Best Actor in 1995), and in "Saving Private Ryan" as Captain John H. Miller (Oscar nomination for Best Actor in 1999). He is also the voice of Woody in the smash-hit "Toy Story" film franchise.
"Larry Crowne" is out in UK and US cinemas on July 1, 2011.
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