What Fred Rogers' Wife Thinks About Tom Hanks

It's a tricky thing, telling a Hollywood version of a person's life, especially someone who's still very much present in the public consciousness. It's even more complicated, one imagines, when that person was as close to the living embodiment of decency as a human being can get. But that biopic box office gold isn't going to strike itself, and A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is coming around the bend to tell the story of the reverend Fred Rogers. 

In most people's minds, Tom Hanks is probably the natural choice to portray the children's television host who spent decades letting us know that everything was going to be okay. After all, Hanks is the only man left in show business so affable that he could star in that night sweat-inducing Polar Express movie and still evoke a general "aw shucks." And who didn't watch David S. Pumpkins and think "that guy reminds me of PBS?"

But Rogers, who passed away in 2003, was more than a TV personality. He was a dedicated husband and family man whose wife of over fifty years is still kicking to this day. What does she think of Hanks? Is he the right man to fill those shoes, then take them off and put on a cardigan and a different pair of shoes?

Joanne Rogers, now 91 years old, spoke with People in a behind the scenes interview on the subject of the film, stating "One of the most wonderful things about this film is that Tom Hanks is playing Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers was a huge fan of Tom Hanks." Speaking on the subject of the movie itself, she called it a "fabulous tribute" and that she thinks "he would like this very much." 

In short, she likes it, just the way it is. That's all you could hope for.