Tom Hanks is one of the most respected and accomplished actors in the movie business today. Having starred in a wide range of commercially successful films such as Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, Hanks made himself a household name in the 1990s and never looked back.
Yet, even though he’s been in a number of great live-action films, Hanks has earned the most money from Toy Story, Disney’s first computer-animated film franchise.
While working on all four Toy Story films, Hanks often had to spend long hours in the studio recording his lines. The process was extremely uncomfortable for him, and he openly admits that he hated it. In fact, he once admitted that he’d often feel pain in his diaphragm after six-hour Toy Story recording sessions.
Tom Hanks hated going to recording sessions for ‘Toy Story’
Hanks talked about his experiences working on Toy Story during an interview with BBC Radio 1, noting that his character, Woody, required a lot of energy.
“Well, I have never gone into a recording studio for Woody without wishing it was already over,” Hanks said. ‘Because he is clenched. He is a clenched person. Everything he’s going through is the crisis of his moment.”
What made the recording process particularly difficult was the fact that Hanks had to stand in one spot during the entire process. So whenever he had to change his voice or breathing for dramatic effect, he was doing it all without the ability to move.
“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.”
He would feel chest pains after long ‘Toy Story’ recording sessions
The process was so strenuous that Hanks would often feel pain in his diaphragm after finishing sessions.
“I have driven home after a four of five, sometimes six-hour recording session, and my diaphragm, it hurts. It aches,” Hanks added.
Tom Hanks had to record all of his ‘Toy Story’ lines twice
To make matters worse, Hanks had to re-record all of his lines for the original Toy Story movie because the producers weren’t satisfied with the first go.
“We recorded an entire version of Toy Story that didn’t quite work the way they wanted it to,” Hanks said. “So we went back and recorded a brand new version of it.”
The award-winning actor says ‘Toy Story’ was the hardest physical work of his life
As one can imagine, recording so many hours of dialogue was taxing for Hanks. In a separate interview with Graham Bensinger, he claimed that working on Toy Story was by far the most challenging physical work of his life.
“… As an actor, I will say that the hardest physical work I’ve ever done as an actor has been the recording of those movies,” Hanks said. “Because you cannot move. You have no costume to hide in. You have no motion in order to animate the emotion, you don’t get to do that. You have to stay locked in place, on microphone and only use your imagination and your voice in order to go there. And I think I’ve probably recorded half of all the Toy Story movies with my eyes closed.”
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