‘A Man Called Otto’ Director shares film’s emotional balance and working with Tom Hanks

A Man Called Otto Director Marc Forster shares about finding the film’s emotional balance and working with Tom Hanks.

Hanks plays the title grump in the Columbia Pictures film A Man Called Otto, which chronicles the story of an odd bond between grouchy Otto and the loving family who recently moved in next door. The uplifting tale is based on the New York Times best-selling book by author Fredrik Backman.

The story of a grieving elderly man, his endearing neighbors, and a cat who is almost as irritable as Otto was adapted by Marc Forster in collaboration with screenwriter David Magee. A large ensemble cast of actors, including Mariana Trevio as the pregnant and persistent Marisol, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Rachel Keller, Mike Birbiglia, and others, supports Hanks’ performance.

While giving an interview with Collider, Forster shared his thoughts on working with Tom Hanks. He says, “It’s just incredible because everything you hear about him is true. He’s not just the nicest person in Hollywood. It’s all true. There couldn’t be, in my dreams, a better collaborator. He has no ego, he’s so kind, and he listens. We’ve just been working.”

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Furthermore, he said, “Working together with someone that good, as you said, one of the greatest actors of all time, is extraordinary. It’s someone playing his instrument on the highest level, and you’re just trying to hear if there was one wrong note, and after two, three takes, you move on because it’s just all there.”

While discussing finding the right balance the director says, “Obviously, I was very blessed because there was the novel there, and Fredrik Backman did a great job in the novel balancing it, and there was the Swedish version of the film, which also did a very good job with that.”

He said, “There was source material. But then, once we got into the editing, I did a lot of the ins and outs of the flashbacks, which often happen during suicide attempts. There were often these moments where I had Tom play them, and then Truman played them, as well, as Truman Hanks who plays the younger Otto.”

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Anoosha Khan
Anoosha Khan

Anoosha Khan is a film critic and entertainment editor based in the UK. She has been reporting about celebs and movies for WatchinUK for the past year.

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