Power Players

Tom Hanks: ‘Should the government be shut down? No!’

Top Line

Tom Hanks has learned a thing or two about being held hostage.

In the new movie, "Captain Phillips," based on the real-life events of a U.S.-flagged cargo ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009, Hanks plays the leading role of Capt. Richard Phillips. And at the movie’s Washington premiere, Hanks was asked about a different sort of showdown: the ongoing government shutdown.

“Should the government be shut down? No,” Hanks told “Top Line” on the red carpet. “There's a lot of people who are locked out of national parks and plenty of other places, too.”

“We seem to be in some brand of a terrible state of chassis, as Sean O'Casey once wrote,” Hanks added, referencing the Irish play “Juno and the Paycock.”

On the subject of “Captain Phillips,” Hanks said the movie brings attention to the challenge posed by modern-day piracy.

“It's a pretty classic story,” Hanks said. “It's very simple in some ways, but has bigger repercussions, not just because of the specifics of hijacking and the situation in Somalia, but it goes on to this day and even though here in the United States we don't hear about it much, piracy goes unabated.”

Phillips himself was also at the premiere and said he is pleased with how the movie portrays his story of being held hostage by pirates.

“I think they did a great job of really boiling it down to, it's really a story of man's peril at sea,” Phillips said. “We don't have policeman, we don't have hospitals, [and] we don't have fire stations on ships. We are the bottom line, and we have to deal with our problems as they come and my crew did a great job.”

The film’s director, Paul Greengrass, told “Top Line” that he gave great attention to authentically portraying the events of the 2009 hijacking. And, for that reason, he kept the Somali actors who played the part of the pirates in the movie separate from Hanks until the first scene they shot with him.

“I was concerned that, if they became too friendly with Tom to begin with, it would inhibit them,” Greengrass said. “So we kept them apart until that first moment they met. It was a very electrifying moment on set.”

The movie will be in theaters this Friday.

For more red carpet action, and to hear what Phillips has to say about Hanks’ attempt at a New England accent in the movie, check out this episode of “Top Line.”

ABC’s Alexandra Dukakis, Michael Conte, Dick Norling, Derek Johnson and Gary Westphalen contributed to this episode.

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