His schedule, not his politics, is the reason he turned down the Mike Nichols film

Even though Tom Hanks declined the big-screen version of Primary Colors, he wishes he could be more like the best-seller’s author used to be…Anonymous. When the star turned tail on the Mike Nichols film, the press went hog wild, claiming that Hanks’ close ties to President Clinton made him shy away from the project. ”It’s a hilarious amount of ink for a story that’s not true,” says Hanks. ”I’ve met the President — that’s a big difference between being friends with him.” So what’s the real reason? He’s just too busy, that’s why. According to Hanks, he told Nichols he was interested in Colors after the director sent him Joe Klein’s book. But when Hanks took a look at his calendar, which has him starring in Steven Spielberg’s World War II drama Saving Private Ryan and executive-producing 13 one-hour shows on the Apollo lunar program for HBO (From the Earth to the Moon), he reconsidered. ”I went to Mike and said, ‘You know, I can no longer do this thing because life has caught up with me. You’re going to have to cast someone else.”’

Even so, Hanks says that starring in the flick would not have offended Clinton. ”I was at an event with him recently,” says Hanks. ”He joked, ‘It’s okay with me if you do Primary Colors.’ I laughed harder than anybody else did.”

Primary Colors
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