Tom Hanks is looking back on his role in The Da Vinci Code, joyfully recounting the night of his 40th birthday on set, during which he changed his pants in front of the iconic Mona Lisa painting. 

Hanks revealed that the memorable moment, which occurred at the famed Louvre museum in Paris, has made up for the critical disappointment the franchise later proved to be. 

"It was my 40th-something birthday. We were shooting in the Louvre at night. I changed my pants in front of the Mona Lisa!" Hanks recalled in an interview with The New York Times. "They brought me a birthday cake in the Grand Salon! Who gets to have that experience? Any cynicism there? Hell no!"

Hanks has fond memories of the production despite his conflicted views on the franchise. 

The star admitted he considers the 2006 adaptation of Dan Brown's mystery thriller novel and its two follow-up films Angels & Demons (2009) and Inferno (2016) to be "hooey" and a "commercial enterprise." 

The films, in which Hanks portrays Robert Langdon, a professor of art history and symbology, were panned by critics — earning Hanks some of the worst reviews of his career. 

Tom Hanks in 'Angels & Demons'
| Credit: Everett Collection

"God, that was a commercial enterprise," Hanks shared. "Yeah, those Robert Langdon sequels are hooey. The Da Vinci Code was hooey."

Hanks referred to the films as "delightful scavenger hunts that are about as accurate to history as the James Bond movies are to espionage."

"I mean, Dan Brown, God bless him, says, 'Here is a sculpture in a place in Paris! No, it's way over there. See how a cross is formed on a map? Well, it's sort of a cross,'" Hanks added. "But they're as cynical as a crossword puzzle. All we were doing is promising a diversion."

The 65-year-old noted that while he isn't against more commercial projects, by the time the third film was released, he could no longer defend the series. 

"There's nothing wrong with good commerce, provided it is good commerce," Hanks added, "By the time we made the third, we proved that it wasn't such good commerce."

The lukewarm reviews didn't deter audiences, the Ron Howard-directed trilogy earned over $1.5 billion worldwide. 

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