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With confusing DirecTV changes and tech issues, Tom Hanks channelled his inner grump for ‘A Man Called Otto.’

In “A Man Called Otto,” Tom Hanks plays the role twice as crotchety.

To be honest, it’s strange to see the universally acclaimed Nicest Guy In Hollywood, who won an Oscar as the guileless Forrest Gump, transform into Otto the Grump.

To the sceptics, Hanks, 66, explains that he spent years preparing for the role by dealing with Otto-like life annoyances. As in satellite television.

“Do you remember how DirecTV has a grid that shows you where all the channels are?” Hanks inquires as he settles into a conversation in a Beverly Wilshire hotel suite. “They simply change it for some reason. As a result, what was once channel 151 is now somewhere in the 500s. And you’ll have to look for it. Or the new grid is more complicated than a legal disclaimer in a drug prescription advertisement.”

He’s just starting out, but you get the idea. For the comedy drama “Otto,” Hanks can walk the tetchy walk (in theatres nationwide Friday).

Otto Anderson, widowed and hardened by his wife’s death, lives an increasingly isolated existence. Along with the perpetual scowl, Hanks created a knuckles-first “pissed-off angry stomp” for Otto’s waterproof shoe-driven gait, which goes into overdrive when his neighbor’s dog urinates on his Pittsburgh patch of lawn or visitors violate parking-permit regulations.

Rita Wilson, Hanks’ fellow “Otto” producer (and wife of 35 years), has endorsed the role. When the couple saw the Oscar-nominated 2015 Swedish film “A Man Called Ove,” based on bestselling author Fredrik Backman’s novel, Wilson immediately thought of her husband for an American remake of the darkly comic drama.

“My husband is the nicest guy in Hollywood, according to popular belief. That is correct, “Wilson explains. “But that doesn’t mean he can’t experience rage, loneliness, and dislike.”

Those emotions do not arise in a vacuum. Wilson has also witnessed Hanks’s family-legendary, tech-induced grumpiness.

“My God, where Tom and technology are involved, forget it. Just walk out of the room when he’s trying to get the TV to work “Wilson explains. “Everyone is aware of it.”

Hanks reveals that his four children – Colin, 45; Elizabeth, 40; Chet, 32; and Truman, 27 – earned him the unfortunate moniker “Angry Buddy Holly” due to his failed attempts at discipline.

“That’s because my standard disciplinary questioning always began with, ‘Right, let me get this straight,'” Hanks explains. “Whatever followed that was always a stupid father complaint.”

Hanks’ inner irascibility, like his Otto persona, was never taken seriously.

“‘Knock it off, or I’ll clobber you,’ I once told my kids. And I was dead serious. That’s how enraged I was “says Tom Hanks. “Since then, I’ve received cards and posters with messages such as, ‘Dear Dad, I am going to clobber you.'”

But, when it comes to his family, “any scowl is all bark and no bite,” Hanks says.

“Otto” hits theatres, and the Hanks family is being scrutinised amid a surge of “nepo baby” attention among famous Hollywood families. Both Wilson and Hanks insist that casting son Truman as Otto’s younger self in his first film role was director Marc Forster’s idea. However, Hanks makes no apologies.

“It’s a family enterprise. If we owned a bodega or a plumbing supply company, all of the kids would work shifts, especially during inventory “says Tom Hanks. “Then there’s the dead ringer factor. Take photos of us at 26 and we’re the same person. Except he’s taller and more attractive than his father was at that age.”

Truman’s portrayal of a younger, in-love Otto contrasts with the older, ill-tempered version. However, there were constraints on how edgy the behaviour could be during sensitive times. Hanks and screenwriter Dave Magee meticulously crafted one Otto exchange with a nearby dog owner to ensure the comedic absurdity was clear.

“There were talks,” Hanks says of the efforts to avoid offence. “‘I’m going to punt that dog over the roof,’ we said. ‘I’m going to drop-kick that dog over the roof,’ he said, and it ended with, ‘I swear to God, I will drop-kick that dog of yours over the roof.'”

Disdain for dog faeces was not an Otto-ism to which Hanks could relate in real life.

“People are generally conscientious about using the doggy bag things,” Hanks says optimistically. “But look, I think we’re all just two degrees away from going full Otto all the time.”

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