Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Tom Hanks said on Today Tuesday that he originally passed on portraying Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood until he was convinced to take on the role by director Marielle Heller.
"She told me that she was not interested in any kind of editorial comment on who Mister Rogers was nor did she want an imitation of Mister Rogers' physicality or presentation," Hanks told Today's Savannah Guthrie.
"She said essentially you will get a wig and we'll do something with your eyebrows and all the rest is gonna be up to you," the actor continued about Heller.
Hanks also discussed how the late Mister Rogers connected with children through his beloved series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
"It's not for us. It's not for grown-ups who know how the world works," he said. "It's for children who are looking to be invested in by somebody who cares about them."
The 63-year-old said that he spoke with Rogers' widow Joanne Rogers who explained what her husband might have done today amid a divisive world.
"'He would just be, the best person he could. Just be, good,'" Hanks said of what Joanne Rogers mentioned.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is set to hit theaters on Friday.