Steven Spielberg’s The Post opens this week, and while it’s not clear whether the film will screen at the White House at some point or another, one thing is clear: If and when it does, star Tom Hanks will not be in attendance.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hanks discussed his The Post character—famed Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee—as well as his performance in the film, the story’s significance and the troubling way in which the press is treated in Donald Trump’s America. When asked if he would attend a White House screening of The Post if invited by Trump, Hanks replied, “I don’t think I would.”
The actor eloquently expounded on his answer as follows:
Because I think that at some point—look, I didn’t think things were going to be this way last November. I would not have been able to imagine that we would be living in a country where neo-Nazis are doing torchlight parades in Charlottesville and jokes about Pocahontas are being made in front of the Navajo code talkers. And individually we have to decide when we take to the ramparts. You don’t take to the ramparts necessarily right away, but you do have to start weighing things. You may think: “You know what? I think now is the time.” This is the moment where, in some ways, our personal choices are going to have to reflect our opinions. We have to start voting, actually, before the election. So, I would probably vote not to go.
We can pretty much start the countdown to Trump defensively trashing Hanks and The Post on Twitter now, can’t we? We can also say goodbye to any chance there may have been of the White House actually screening The Post, especially since Bloodsport is more Trump’s speed.
Elsewhere in his interview with THR, Hanks noted that one of his first impressions of The Post’s script was that it had “an awful lot of parallels to 2017,” recalled spending a day at the WaPo office with his co-star Meryl Streep and Spielberg, and opined on the subject of truth, saying:
There used to be this concept, [as the later Senator] Daniel Moynihan used to say: “You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.” Facts are irrefutable. Well, it turns out people are saying: “No, facts are not irrefutable. We can decide whatever facts that we want, that we would like.” Right now, without a doubt, there are people in power trying to—if not quash or stop the right to publication, [then at least] denigrate it to the point [where] they are saying there is no truth to it whatsoever.
The Post opens this Friday, Dec. 22. You can read our review of the film here, watch a trailer for it here and see Hanks’ full interview with THR right here.