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Tom Hanks’ Saving Private Ryan Performance Was Centered Around One Emotion

Before “Saving Private Ryan,” it was hard to imagine the often mild-mannered actor as a tough, bonafide leader to a group of soldiers in World War II. Hanks revealed to Oprah that he questioned why exactly anyone would cast him in that role:

But I still have moments when I think, ‘They want me to play this role? They want me to be Captain John Miller [in ‘Saving Private Ryan’]?’ Never in my wildest scenarios would I have thought I would be able to have enough of somebody’s confidence to do such a thing.

However, the character is more than just a hollow shell of false confidence. In the interview, Hanks spoke about relating to Captain Miller through his innate fear:

The first time I read about Captain John Miller, here’s what I got: He’s scared. And he’s afraid in the same way that I would be in his circumstances. His fear is the reason for everything he does. And all the questions that are answered in the movie come back to that core thing.

“Saving Private Ryan” is not a film about the false bravado often associated with war and its leaders. It’s a devastating picture that looks at all of its players with multiple lenses to fully encapsulate the tragedy behind the atrocities of war. Hanks’ performance as Captain Miller is a big part of that, as the character comes into “Saving Private Ryan” having already experienced combat.

Read More: Tom Hanks’ Saving Private Ryan Performance Was Centered Around One Emotion

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