Marielle Heller insisted Tom Hanks sing live as Mister Rogers

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood director Marielle Heller forced Tom Hanks to sing live on set.

Tom plays beloved children's entertainer Fred Rogers in the new film - a role for which he has bagged an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

However, Marielle has now revealed that the performance was far from effortless for the Hollywood star, especially when she insisted he sing the theme tune to the show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

"We made him sing live, which you don't usually make movie stars do, but it's what Fred did so it's what we wanted to do," she told The Guardian. "It was genuinely tricky. We did 22 takes, the most takes I think I've ever done of any scene in my life."

Although Tom is famously easygoing, he still had to rein in his natural enthusiasm to play the naturally relaxed and reassuring Fred.

Explaining his process, Marielle added, "It was almost like it was a martial art," before noting that the Forrest Gump star was "genuinely slowing his heart rate down, slowing his energy down" during his performance.

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