It’s been a great week for Tom Hanks. His new movie SULLY was number one at the box office in the US taking in $35 million and he has received rave reviews playing the very understated hero, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. The premiere in New York City was at the Alice Tully Hall, just under a mile from the “Miracle on the Hudson” where Sully put the plane down.

It was an exciting feeling around the red carpet as everyone was anticipating true Hollywood greatness in Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood. This was Eastwood’s 38th movie directing and the first time Hanks and him had worked together.

When Tom Hanks turned up in front of me he was super eager to tell me about the heroic Sully. I asked him how he prepared to play this accidental hero Sully. He said, “I spent the better part of six hours with him and he was extremely open about the burden he was under immediately after the forced water landing.”

Tom was very strong in underlining that it was a “forced water landing” and not a crash landing. This debate of landing versus a crash is what fuels the movie.

It was a big night for stars and the movie’s director also walked the red carpet. Clint Eastwood at 87 years of age, was in great shape as I asked him how he made this a motion picture when there is really only 208 seconds of action. Eastwood said he “wanted to show what happens and what could happen and what his mental state was as he went through the investigation” into the landing. I’ve always loved Eastwood’s music in his movies which he had previously composed.

I had to tell him how good the piano was in this film where he laughed, turned around and pointed at a guy and giggled, “he’s liking your piano playing.”

Then, Clint was gone!

It was a great night celebrating a true hero in Sully. As for me, I was pretty happy to be in front of a couple of Hollywood’s finest gentlemen!

–Brad Blanks/Shannon in the Morning


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