Actor Tom Hanks is really Mr Nice Guy

By Victoria Barker

HOLLYWOOD icon Tom Hanks strode into a conference room at Sentosa's Capella Hotel last Saturday looking suave.

He exuded confidence, and had the collar of his black polo shirt turned upwards - bad-boy style.

But if that rebel-without-a-cause air was part of his latest attempt to change his Mr-Nice-Guy image, it didn't work.

The twinkly-eyed 54-year- old was as endearing as the character he played in Forrest Gump (1994), as he fielded questions about being in Singapore and in the movie industry.

He seemed to be particularly in love with Singapore, revealing to my paper that he had visited the famed Raffles Hotel for dinner last Friday.

The two-time Oscar-winner was in Singapore with his youngest son, Truman, to attend the gala premiere of his movie, Larry Crowne, as part of the inaugural ScreenSingapore event.

At the red-carpet event, he told reporters wistfully: "I wish I had been able to see more of (Singapore). The next time (anyone) asks me to come, I'll say yes, but only if they let me come three days in advance."

Larry Crowne, which Hanks directed and in which he plays the title character (opposite Julia Roberts), is about a middle- aged man who enrols himself in college after losing his job.

That might seem a bit tame, but Hanks said that there is no limit to where he will go as an actor. However, there are certain genres - and movies - he just does not "get", such as torture-horror franchise Saw.

"All I could think (of when I saw the trailer) was, 'What the hell is this? Are we insane?'," he exclaimed in mock horror.

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