Most of us grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS, so when it was announced that Tom Hanks would be starring in a biopic about the famous children’s show host, we all got excited. Tom Hanks is basically a national treasure/America’s dad, so putting him in the role of another gift to humanity? How perfect, right? Well, it turns out this Mr. Rogers movie, You Are My Friend, isn’t just a straight-up biopic.
Instead, it’s a movie that highlights the huge impact Mr. Rogers had on so many of us — particularly a certain reporter.
You Are My Friend is a true story and follows reporter Tom Junod, who profiled Mr. Rogers for Esquire in 1998, and how their encounter ended up changing Junod’s life forever. Accordingly, director Marielle Heller told Entertainment Weekly that the film is NOT a biopic but is focused specifically on Junod’s relationship with Mr. Rogers.
When asked about casting Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers, Heller was extremely pleased at the positive reaction to the news. After all, Hanks doesn’t necessarily look like our favorite cardigan-clad neighbor, but he has a very similar energy about him. As Heller put it, “Essence-wise, he’s in the same vein.”
We couldn’t agree more, and we can’t wait to see him in the iconic role!