Actor Tom Hanks continues to have an impressive career at age 66, having appeared in almost 80 feature films, not to mention countless television shows and stage productions. But at a certain age and point in one’s career the subject of retirement comes up, naturally. Hanks revealed in a recent interview that he does not desire to retire, but is picky about what projects he decides to take on.
“No, I don’t have any desire [to retire]. I’m not working for the sake of working,” Hanks revealed to Variety at the premiere for his latest film, A Man Called Otto. “I’m in a very lucky position. It’s got to be fabulous. Rita and I talk about it all the time, which is there’s only two reasons go to work: It’ll be good or it’ll be fun. And if it’s neither one of those, I’ll stay home until the cows come on. I don’t need to do anything.”
Hanks’ latest character Otto was not so lucky. The film is based on the Swedish book A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which was also made into a 2015 movie. When it was adapted for American audiences, changes were made.
Hank explains these changes. “There was a mandatory retirement in the original movie in Sweden. You got to a certain age, you’re out! And that’s the way things work,” he stated.
The American version puts a different spin on this because of culture differences. “Here, it was he had been bought out, he took a severance pay — he didn’t want to quit. There was no reason to stay because they had no more faith in him,” Hanks explained.
A Man Called Otto tells the story of a curmudgeon named Otto Anderson who is deeply depressed after losing his job and his wife, Sonya. He attempts to end his life several times, until his worldview is changed by a new family who moves into his neighborhood. Otto learns that he can still make a positive impact on the world through his connection to his neighbors. The film was directed by Marc Forster and written by David Magee. It is currently playing in movie theaters.