Tom Hanks is no stranger to suffering for his art having admitted that his diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes was partly caused by his weight constantly fluctuating due to the roles he played, particularly his Academy Award winning performance in Philadelphia and his drastic slimming down for the stranded sections of Cast Away.
A lot of actors end up suffering injuries on set whether it’s through dangerous stunts or simply an unfortunate accident, but the actor revealed in an interview a couple of years ago that one of the most physically demanding characters he’s ever played is Woody in Toy Story.
While it’s one of just two characters he’s ever played more than once alongside The Da Vinci Code‘s Robert Langdon, Hanks was restricted entirely to the recording booth for his stint as the child’s plaything, a tenure that lasted a quarter of a century and encompassed four feature films, three shorts, two television specials, a video game and a brief cameo in Cars.
It’s not the sort of thing you’d expect to leave one of the all-time great actors in a great deal of pain, but Hanks admitted that he’d often leave his recording sessions in agony from the effort put in to bring Woody to life.
“Well, I have never gone into a recording studio for Woody without wishing it was already over. Because he is clenched. He is a clenched person. Everything he’s going through is the crisis of his moment. And to stand, and not being really able to move, because you can’t go off microphone and embody this, I mean I’m getting clenched just thinking about it now. I have driven home after a four or five, sometimes six-hour recording session, and my diaphragm, it hurts. It aches.”
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In keeping with his reputation for always delivering the best possible work, Hanks has often named Toy Story as some of the most challenging acting of his career, because he has to cover the entire emotional spectrum while standing in the same place so his microphone can pick him up clearly, resulting in plenty of vocal gymnastics over the course of the franchise’s long and illustrious history.
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