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.

Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

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

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game