Tom Hanks tells 'Time' about controversial WWII, JFK projects

March 04, 2010

This week's issue of Time magazine, on stands Friday, features Tom Hanks. It's just the third time in three years that a movie star has graced the cover (Kate Winslet last year, and George Clooney the year before).

In the story, Hanks talks about his new big project - the upcoming HBO series The Pacific, a 10-hour series about the Pacific theater in World War II that begins airing March 14 at 9 p.m.

He wants Americans to understand the glories — and the iniquities — of American history, notes Time. "Certainly, we wanted to honor U.S. bravery in The Pacific," Hanks says in the interview. "But we also wanted to have people say, 'We didn't know our troops did that to Japanese people.' "

Part of his inspiration came from Ken Burns' The Civil War, which aired on PBS in the fall of 1990. "I watched that with my son," Hanks recalls. "There was nothing but great music married with talking heads, pan and scan of old photographs and get to the creeks at sunset. But I wept at the end of almost every hour of that incredibly powerful entertainment. So I thought there might be some other ways that HBO could also make history interesting for people."

He hopes to do that again in his next project as he tackles the John F. Kennedy assassination. "If we do it right, it'll be perhaps one of the most controversial things that has ever been on TV."

Source : USA Today