Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel in News of the World

Before 2020 is over, film fans are being treated to another Tom Hanks movie, five months after the World War II tale Greyhound hit Apple TV+. News of the World sees Hanks acting opposite young actress Helena Zengel, with this marking her first Hollywood feature film. Of course, Hanks has been in this business a long time and knows how to make scenes the best they can be. So to help out Zengel during the making of News of the World, Hanks went so far as to legitimately cry on set for her, even when it wasn't required on his part.

This revelation comes straight from Helena Zengel herself, who said the following at a News of the World digital screening (via Page Six) about how Tom Hanks went the extra mile to aid her in her own performance:

He was literally crying in every scene, even when it wasn’t shot on him — it was my close-up. He cried in every scene that I should get emotional … Doing it again and again for your partner when you don’t even see yourself in the movie was really amazing and great.

It would have been easy enough for Tom Hanks to simply cry only when the camera was pointed on him during News of the World’s filming, but he wasn’t content doing just that. In order to make sure that Helena Zengel was also being as emotional as possible in her scenes, out came the waterworks on his end, even if he wasn’t actually in the frame. Judging by Zengel’s comment above, Hanks putting in that additional effort was enormously beneficial for her, which will surely help her make a good impression to those watching News of the World and seeing her perform for the first time.

Adapting the same-named 2016 novel by Paulette Jiles, News of the World stars Tom Hanks as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a widowed Civil War veteran who agrees to escort a young girl named Johanna Leonberger, who was taken by the Kiowa people years ago, back to her aunt and uncle, even though Joanna would rather stay with the Kiowa. The two travel hundreds of miles and encounter numerous dangers along the way to find a place they can both call home. News of the World’s cast also includes Michael Covino, Fred Hechinger, Neil Sandilands, Thomas Francis Murphy, Mare Winningham, Elizabeth Marvel, Chukwudi Iwuji, Ray McKinnon and Bill Camp.

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Behind the cameras, Paul Greengrass directed News of the World and co-wrote the script with Luke Davies. This marks Greengrass’ second collaboration with Tom Hanks, with the two of them having first worked together on 2013’s Captain Phillips. Originally the plan was for Fox 2000 Pictures to release New of the World, but after Fox was acquired by Disney, Universal Pictures snagged the movie.

News of the World hits theaters tomorrow, Christmas Day, and its PVOD release will follow on January 15. International viewers will be able to catch it on Netflix. Find out what movies are coming up next year in our 2021 release schedule.

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