Tom Hanks is making his Broadway debut in a little over a month in Lucky Guy, a play by his friend, the late Nora Ephron. He plays Mike McAlary, a real-life tabloid journalist from the 80s. The thing is: how do you make the most likeable guy ever unlikable? Have him say "fuck!"

"Anytime you go off to do something new, you've involved reinvention, and any actor who says otherwise is just trying to lower expectations," Hanks told the New York Times.

Ephron originally sent him a screenplay of Lucky Guy, but Hanks thought McAlary was too much of a jerk. He reconsidered in 2011, after she'd turned it into a play. This time, he was drawn to McAlary's "swagger."

Maura Tierney (ER, Rescue Me) plays McAlary's wife, whom he "treats shabbily." Tierney says, "It's hugely important to the play that you buy Tom as a not-likeable guy, and I think he's pulling it off. Tom has really put vanity aside here. I think he also feels a responsibility to Nora to get it right." 

Hanks and Ephron started working on the play before her death last June from leukemia-related pneumonia.

"I am afraid of blowing it myself...I have just as impressive a track record of movies and projects that didn't work out. But when I walk home at night, that's when I hear Nora's voice the clearest," Hanks said.

Lucky Guy opens at the Broadhurst Theater April 1 and will run for 15 weeks.

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[via NYT]