Tom Hanks returns to his first love - theatre

The movie star is the latest to swap screen for stage, as he heads to Broadway to play a journalist

Los Angeles

On screen, Tom Hanks has fought on the beaches of Normandy, jogged from coast to coast and back, and even contracted Aids. But now the two-time Oscar-winning star of Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump and Philadelphia faces an even greater challenge: at the age of 56, he is appearing on Broadway for the first time. On 1 March, Hanks begins in previews of Lucky Guy, by the late Nora Ephron, which opens at Broadhurst Theatre on 1 April.

Lucky Guy is based on the life of Mike McAlary, a columnist for the New York Daily News in the 1980s and 1990s. McAlary wrote extensively about police corruption, and in 1998 won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the NYPD's vicious torture of an innocent arrestee, Abner Louima. McAlary died later that year of colon cancer, aged 41. Another play about his life, The Wood by Dan Klores, premiered off-Broadway in 2011.

In the new production, Hanks will appear as the journalist, opposite Maura Tierney as his wife, Alice. It will be his first stage performance since 1979, when he was in The Mandrake by New York's Riverside Shakespeare Company. Before then, the actor had studied theatre at college in California and as an employee of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Ohio. "I spent a lot of time going to plays," he once said of his college years. "I'd just drive to a theatre, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat and read the programme, and then get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that, seeing Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Ibsen and all that."

Hanks is the latest in a string of Hollywood actors to head for the Great White Way. Scarlett Johansson is appearing in Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, while Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain completed her run as The Heiress this weekend. Bradley Cooper, shortlisted for a Best Actor Academy Award for Silver Linings Playbook, is said to be keen to play The Elephant Man in New York.

Much of the coverage of movie stars on stage inevitably concerns their salaries. Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig received $120,000 (£76,000) a week for their 12-week run in the two-hander A Steady Rain on Broadway in 2009. Al Pacino recently earned $125,000 a week for a revival of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross. Hanks will reportedly make at least $75,000 a week over the 15 weeks of Lucky Guy, as well as 12.5 per cent of box office. Tickets are changing hands for up to $350.

It's a far cry from London, where in 1998 Nicole Kidman accepted the Equity actors' union minimum wage of £250 a week for The Blue Room at the Donmar Warehouse. Hollywood stars are believed to burnish their credibility by appearing in the West End, and Juliette Binoche, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are thought to have taken the UK minimum for stage roles. Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey reportedly waives his £100,000 salary as artistic director of the Old Vic, to help keep the London theatre solvent.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Summer nights: ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’
TVBut what do we Brits really know about them?
Arts and Entertainment
Dr Michael Mosley is a game presenter

TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory