Tom Hanks will swap screen for stage as he heads to Broadway

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks

ON SCREEN, Tom Hanks has fought on the beaches of Normandy, jogged from coast to coast and back, and even contracted Aids.

But now the two-time Oscar-winning star of Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump and Philadelphia faces an even greater challenge: at the age of 56, he is appearing on Broadway for the first time.

On 1 March, Hanks begins in previews of Lucky Guy, by the late Nora Ephron, which opens at Broadhurst Theatre on 1 April.

Lucky Guy is based on the life of Mike McAlary, a columnist for the New York Daily News in the 1980s and 1990s. McAlary wrote extensively about police corruption, and in 1998 won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the NYPD's vicious torture of an innocent arrestee, Abner Louima. McAlary died later that year of colon cancer, aged 41.

Another play about his life, The Wood by Dan Klores, premiered off-Broadway in 2011.

In the new production, Hanks will appear as the journalist, opposite Maura Tierney as his wife, Alice.

It will be his first stage performance since 1979, when he was in The Mandrake by New York's Riverside Shakespeare Company. Before then, the actor had studied theatre at college in California and as an employee of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Ohio

. "I spent a lot of time going to plays," he once said of his college years.

"I'd just drive to a theatre, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat and read the programme, and then get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that, seeing Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Ibsen and all that."

Hanks is the latest in a string of Hollywood actors to head for the Great White Way. Scarlett Johansson is appearing in Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, while Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain completed her run as The Heiress this weekend. Bradley Cooper, shortlisted for a Best Actor Academy Award for Silver Linings Playbook, is said to be keen to play The Elephant Man in New York.

Much of the coverage of movie stars on stage inevitably concerns their salaries. Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig received $120,000 (£76,000) a week for their 12-week run in the two-hander A Steady Rain on Broadway in 2009.

Al Pacino recently earned $125,000 a week for a revival of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross.

Hanks will reportedly make at least $75,000 a week over the 15 weeks of Lucky Guy, as well as 12.5 per cent of box office. Tickets are changing hands for up to $350.

It's a far cry from London, where in 1998 Nicole Kidman accepted the Equity actors' union minimum wage of £250 a week for The Blue Room at the Donmar Warehouse. Hollywood stars are believed to burnish their credibility by appearing in the West End, and Juliette Binoche, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are thought to have taken the UK minimum for stage roles. Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey reportedly waives his £100,000 salary as artistic director of the Old Vic, to help keep the London theatre solvent.

Topics:  broadway theatre tom hanks

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

OPINION: How my coastal paradise became a warzone

RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter Service returned to Gladstone to refuel after it found a missing yacht washed up on rocks west of Middle Island this morning.

Life after dark in this beachside suburb is not what you'd expect

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

Local Partners

All aboard for reno, new menu at Little Boat Espresso

Like your fish cured in Hendricks Gin with candied bacon kransky? This cafe is adding a night menu, local craft beer and cocktails.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

All aboard for reno, new menu at Little Boat Espresso

Owners of Marcoola café Little Boat Espresso plan to expand Little Boat Espresso to include late nights with a new liquor licence approved for next month.

Popular cafe undergoes renovations, adds night service

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June