The “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” star appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Monday and viewed footage of the “Jeopardy!” contestants who couldn’t identify his famous face when he was in character as Fred Rogers for the new movie about the famed children’s show host.
“You are kidding me! You are kidding me!” the actor said, smiling and clearly astonished that no one could name him. “They didn’t ― they didn’t even have any wrong suggestions, you know? Bing, Woody Harrelson? Bing, Mahershala Ali? No, I’m sorry.”
Hanks quipped, “What was the name of the category, washed-up career choices for 800? Bad casting for 1000, Alex?”
Kimmel interpreted the contestants’ silence as a tribute to Hank’s acting.
“I look at it as you inhabited that character so beautifully that even they were absorbed instantaneously!” the late night host said as the crowd clapped, which went over well with the actor.
“I’ll take that, I’ll take that. Thank you!” Hanks said, before joking, “I think actually they were blinded by the red sweater, couldn’t make anything out.”
“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek had a more subdued reaction when dealing with the contestants who couldn’t come up with an answer (though one tried to buzz in, it was too late).
Watch the whole exchange unfold at 4:29.
While on “Kimmel,” Hanks also shared a story about filming the Mister Rogers movie in Pittsburgh, where the late TV star was beloved by all. The actor revealed he received a slightly ominous warning about the movie from a man in a Pittsburgh hotel elevator one day while filming.
Hanks and the man were reportedly making small talk about the film, before the stranger got off the elevator and ― according to the actor ― “turned and looked at me and said, ‘We take Mr. Rogers very seriously here in Pittsburgh.’”
“His eyes went snake-like for a second, and I’m thinking, ‘I believe I’ve just been threatened in the City of Three Rivers,’” the 63-year-old joked.
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