TomHanks re­lives pi­lot’s hor­ror and hero­ism on the wa­ter

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE - By XUFAN xufan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Many peo­ple will re­mem­ber the mo­ment when a pow­er­less air­liner was forced to land on the frigid wa­ters of New York’s Hud­son River on Jan 15, 2009.

Thank­fully, all 155 abroad were saved thanks to heroic pi­lot Chelsey Sul­len­berger’s fly­ing skills.

But Sul­len­berger was then in­ves­ti­gated by Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board as the lat­ter thought his wa­ter land­ing was a mis­take.

That­be­camethe­at­trac­tion­forOs­car­win­ning di­rec­tor Clint East­wood to make Sully, base­donthe real in­ci­dent.

Nearly three months af­ter its United States pre­miere, Chi­nese au­di­ences can see the bi­o­graph­i­cal fea­ture, start­ing from Fri­day.

“It was a pos­i­tive out­come in a bad sit­u­a­tion,” saysEast­wood, who’sknown to Chi­nese movie­go­ers for his 1995 ro­mance The Bridges of Madi­son County (1995), in a pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial tai­lored for theChi­ne­se­mar­ket.

Be­fore the in­ci­dent, the US was a dif­fer­ent place, says East­wood. “It was post-9/11. We had troops in the Mid­dle East. There was the 2008 fi­nan­cial melt­down … peo­ple were wor­ried,” he says.

“That hap­pened in Man­hat­tan and we sur­vived it, well, I think it gave peo­ple hope.”

When serv­ing in the US Army at 21, East­wood had a par­tic­u­lar ex­pe­ri­ence con­nect­ing him with the movie. He caught a free naval flight from Seat­tle to Alameda, but the plane went down off Point Reyes, Cal­i­for­nia. And he found him­self in the wa­ters of the Pa­cific and had to swim a fewmiles to­ward the shore.

Sully has a glit­ter­ing cast: Tom Hanks stars as the hero, and Aaron Eck­hart­playsSully’sco-pi­lotJ­ef­fSk­iles.

Aso­neof only two ac­tors in his­tory to win back-to-back Best Ac­tor Academy Awards, Hanks again shows why he de­serves his ac­co­lades.

“At some points I for­got he’s Hanks but took him to be the real Sul­len­berger. His au­thor­i­ta­tive per­for­mance is amaz­ing,” says Wang Xiaoyang, a viewer who was at the Bei­jing pre­viewlast week.

Hanks won his first Os­car in 1994 for Philadel­phia, and in the fol­low­ing year he took home his sec­ond Os­car for For­rest Gump.

But even Hanks, who has the tal­ent to take au­di­ences into the char­ac­ter’s world, sayshe­felt in­tim­i­dated to play a real-life hero. “Sully is an ac­com­plished pi­lot from ev­ery per­spec­tive ... No one has ever trained for an in­ci­dent like that,” saysHanks.

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