Tom Hanks leads Mister Rogers singalong on Toronto red carpet

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Tom Hanks led fans in a singalong of the theme to children’s TV show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood at the Toronto International Film Festival on the weekend.

The 63-year-old actor plays famously friendly U.S. kids’ TV host Fred Rogers in Marielle Heller’s new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and stopped on the red carpet at its premiere to join fans in song.

He and fans joined together to sing the programme’s theme, chanting: “It’s a beautiful day in this neighbourhood, a beautiful day for a neighbour. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?”

Hanks hopes the movie, which tells the story of how Rogers befriends a cynical journalist sent to profile him, will help cinemagoers get away from the more cynical aspects of the modern world and be inspired by Rogers’ openness and friendliness.

“Cynicism has become the default position for so much of daily structure and daily intercourse,” he told the BBC. “Why? Because it’s easy, and there’s good money to be made.

“Cynicism is a great product to sell, and it’s the perfect beginning of any examination of anything. And part of that is conspiracy theories and what have you.”

Speaking about Rogers’ own approach to life and entertainment, The Post star added: “I think when Fred Rogers first saw children’s programming, he saw something that was cynical, and why would you put something that is cynical in front of a two or three-year-old kid? That you are not cool because you don’t have this toy? That it’s funny to see someone being bopped on the head?

“That’s a cynical treatment of the audience, and we have become so inured to that, that when we are met with as simple a message as ‘Hey you know what, it’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood!’ we get slapped a little bit. We are allowed, I think, to feel good. There’s a place for cynicism, but why begin with it right off the bat?”

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