Tom Hanks: Paul Newman Gave Me Imposter Syndrome on ‘Road to Perdition’

Tom Hanks has won two Oscars, been nominated for three more, and has starred in many of the most iconic films of the past four decades while working with Hollywood’s top directors. But that doesn’t mean he’s immune to being starstruck. Although few actors have reached Hanks’ heights of fame, Paul Newman could certainly give him his money’s worth. And Hanks was always aware of that, even when the two men were working together.

In a new appearance on the “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard” podcast, Hanks recalled his time on set with Newman while filming Sam Mendes’ “Road to Perdition.” When asked if he ever had impostor syndrome while working with the ‘Cool Hand Luke’ star, Hanks bluntly replied, “Absolutely.”

“I did a movie with Mr. Paul Newman,” Hanks said. “It took me a while to come to terms with this fact: I’m in a movie with Paul Newman.”

It seems Newman, who was entering his fifth decade of stardom at the time, was well aware of the effect he had on people. Once he realized how nervous Hanks and their co-stars Daniel Craig and Jude Law were, he did his best to put everyone at ease.

“He’s just arrived and he’s the lowest maintenance guy you’ve ever met and easy to talk to,” Hanks said. “He did [the scene] and there was a moment of silence. Then he looked at all of us and he said, ‘The first day, you feel a little awkward, don’t you?’ And everyone was freed from any kind of honor bondage that we felt. It was the guy.

Hanks can be proud that they made a great movie together, but he also walked away from the experience of working with Newman with a practical advice that always helps the actor look his best on camera. .

“You know what I learned from Paul Newman and use to this day? First thing in the makeup trailer – your face in a bucket of ice water,” he said.

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