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Tom Hanks walked the red carpet with the man he plays in "Captain Phillips," Richard Phillips, Friday at the opening night of the 51st New York Film Festival. Unfortunately, Phillips couldn't make it to Los Angeles for the West Coast premiere of the film tonight, but that wasn't going to stop director Paul Greengrass from giving Phillips his due. Even after his ordeal of being taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, Phillips has returned to the sea as a ship captain. And as Phillips is actually setting sail this week (according to Greengrass at least), he said hello to everyone at the film's Los Angeles premiere via Skype. It was a fleeting moment, but one that will be remembered by the Academy, guild and industry attendees who will spread their enthusiasm for the Best Picture contender (i.e., it was a nice PR win).
Hanks didn't appear to be mingling at the reception afterward, but his three co-stars, Barkhad Abdi, Mahat Ali and Faysal Ahmed, were clearly the life of the party. The trio found themselves receiving kudos from some of the famous names in attendance and taking photos with a long line of fans. Some of the notables on hand included Bill Paxton, Emile Hirsch, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, Jason Isaacs, Lou Diamond Phillips and Courtney B. Vance.
Earlier in the day, In Contention's own Kris Tapley spoke in-depth with Barkhad Abdi about learning from Hanks and trying to find empathy for his character. It's well worth the read.
Yes, Oscar voters are getting to see "Phillips" on the coasts, but you won't have to wait much longer. "Captain Phillips" opens nationwide on Oct. 11.