'Is this a thing?' Hanks asked Martin

By David Canfield
October 18, 2017 at 04:37 PM EDT

A key step forward for Tom Hanks’ new short story collection Uncommon Type came courtesy of none other than Steve Martin.

Hanks recalled a moment years ago when he’d completed a short story and wondered whether it was any good. Naturally, he turned to a fellow actor who’s dabbled in writing (of screen, stage, music, and novel). “I sent [Steve] a story and I asked him, quite frankly, ‘Is this a thing?'” Hanks explained to EW’s Tina Jordan during a Facebook Live chat. “And he wrote back, ‘Yeah it is a thing. Let me send it to my agent.'”

Hanks noted that it was out of that initial conversation with Martin that led to him signing with his literary agent, Esther Newberg, and getting a story published in The New Yorker.

RELATED: Hear Tom Hanks read from his new short-story collection Uncommon Type

The clip above also features Hanks’ insights on working with book editor Peter Gethers, and how it compared to acting. “My day-job as an actor is, I come in and deliver an awful lot of raw material. … On camera, you can pretty much do anything you want to and then somebody else takes that and shapes it,” he explains. “[It’s why] I never had any problems with [my editor] saying, ‘This ain’t working.'”

Watch the clip above for more, and check out Hanks’ Uncommon Type: Some Stories here.