Tom Hanks is a showbiz icon, make no mistake. Decades from now his work will be looked at the same way Marlon Brando or Paul Newman's body of work is viewed now. He's starred in, directed and produced multiple hit films, and has picked up an Oscar or two along the way. But with everything he's done in the entertainment world, there was still one more hurdle for him to leap, and next year he'll get that chance. Hanks is going to Broadway.
The "Cast Away" and "Saving Private Ryan" star will appear in a play written by the late Nora Ephron, who worked with Hanks on the films "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," both of which she wrote and directed. The Associated Press reports that Hanks was in negotiations for the role when Ephron passed away earlier this year in June. Tom will join a long tradition of movie stars who make the leap from screen to stage, and here are some of the more notable ones.
Daniel Radcliffe - What do you do when you know you're going to have to step out from the shadow of one of the biggest pop culture characters you've been playing since before puberty? If you're Radcliffe, you distance yourself from Harry Potter by going to Broadway and performing in a play about a young man obsessed with horses. Oh, and a little full-frontal nudity never hurt when trying to move to more grown-up roles either. "Equus" debuted in London in 2007 and was successful enough to move to Broadway where it ran into 2009.
Al Pacino - Widely regarded as one of the most gifted actors of his generation, Pacino has starred in such classic American films as "The Godfather" and "Scarface." Al made his Broadway in 1969 in a show that only ran for a little over thirty performances. But Pacino clearly made an impact in that play, since it got him a Tony Award. Most recently he starred in a revival of "The Merchant of Venice" in 2010.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Maybe there's some rule in show biz that if you win a Best Actor Oscar you have to star in a Broadway show too. Like Pacino and Hanks, Hoffman is an Academy Award winner in that category and is no stranger to the stage. This year he appeared with "The Amazing Spiderman" star Andrew Garfield in a revival of "Death of a Salesman."
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