Tom Hanks says Mister Rogers' teachings helped in his marriage to Rita Wilson

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks dressed as Mr. Rogers on the set of "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” |

Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks said playing beloved TV personality Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" helped strengthen his own marriage.

Hanks told ET's Kevin Frazier about how he was able to apply some of the lessons from the popular TV show “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” in his marriage to Rita Wilson.

Prince William
Britain's Prince William speaks to actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson at the BAFTA Brits to Watch event in Los Angeles, California July 9, 2011. |

"When my wife and I are going at it on those rare occasions, when she is letting me know that I'm not really listening to her and I'm trying to establish what the ground rules are [for the argument], when we're going at it like that, one of us will say, 'Well, you know what? You know what, honey? It's good to talk. It's good to say the things we feel,'" Hanks said in a calm Rogers-like tone while recalling a lesson he learned on using your words.

"And I learned that from Mister Rogers." 

The actor, who has been married for 31 years, said he and Wilson spend their free time together cooking as a hobby.

"We make soup together," Hanks revealed. "Like, if we have a day off and there's nothing going on … it takes about two to three hours."

The film, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” is based on an article written by journalist Tom Junod, who formed a friendship with Rogers while writing a profile on his life and work.

Rogers worked in television for more than 30 years after graduating college. The only breaks he took from working in television were times he devoted to his Christian faith.

The TV pioneer attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1963. 

Hanks said he and Rogers don't have all that much in common. 

"I don't allow anyone to take advantage of my good nature and I don't know that Fred did either," Hanks continued.

"I'm nothing like Fred Rogers in any way, shape, or form. Except, I think, I wake up in the morning thinking, 'Hey, it's a nice day, it's a good day. Let's try to make it a little bit better." 

"A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood" opens in theaters nationwide on Nov. 22.

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