Nicest Man in Hollywood to Play Nicest Man Ever

Tom Hanks will play Mr. Rogers in 'You Are My Friend'.


Please don’t anybody ruin this for me. I don’t need somebody to come out of the woodwork to explain to me all about how Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was actually problematic, or that Tom Hanks clubs baby seals, or whatever. Please just let me, in these traumatic times, take some small comfort in knowing that one of the nicest guys in Hollywood is going to play one of the nicest people ever in an upcoming biopic called You Are My Friend.

I’m serious, I don’t want to know anything that will make this small bit of casting news less pleasant for me.

Variety broke the news that Hanks, the beloved film actor who is known for his roles in Big, Saving Private Ryan, The Post, Apollo 13, and the Toy Story series, would play Fred Rogers. The movie is based on the true story of the friendship Rogers formed with Tom Junod, an initially cynical journalist who was tasked with writing a profile of the TV personality.

“I am so inspired by the teachings of Fred Rogers and as a human, I am in awe of his life’s work,” director Marielle Heller said in a statement. “I can’t wait to bring his story to the public and be a part of such a thoughtful, smart group of people who are all coming together to make this film, which truly feels to me like an antidote to our very fractured culture.”

Heller, who is best known for directing Diary of a Teenage Girl, isn’t really saying anything that out of the ordinary for a statement delivered via press release, but something about it just feels, well, nice.

So, you — yes, you — the person reading this article right now. I see you opening up another tab to try to “well, actually” me about how Mr. Rogers was really a violent criminal or Navy sniper with scores of confirmed kills, but those rumors are bogus. Please stop trying to ruin this for me. Mr Rogers was a nice man with good taste in sweaters, and Tom Hanks was a nice man who appeared in a Carly Rae Jepsen music video.

It’s unknown when You Are My Friend will hit theaters, as the film doesn’t even have a firm production start date.