How Tom Hanks Found out He’s Literally Related to Mr. Rogers

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is out this week, just in time to be the perfect holiday movie for families to reminiscence on one of America’s beloved childhood figures, Mister Rogers. Recently, Rogers’ portrayer in the film, Tom Hanks, found out he is actually related to him in real-life!

Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers
Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ | Lacey Terrell/Sony

‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ is not a Mister Rogers biopic

Due to the film’s advertising, it may be easy to think that A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a film about the life and legacy of Fred Rogers. In actuality, the film tells a real-life inspired story about a journalist who changes in regards to how he views life and his loved ones after he is assigned to interview Rogers for a profile.

The Marielle Heller-directed film sees The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys portray Lloyd Vogel (based on real-life journalist Tom Junod), This is Us star Susan Kelechi Watson as his wife, Andrea Vogel, and Chris Cooper as his estranged father, Jerry Vogel.

Mister Rogers plays more of a supporting role in the overall story of Vogel’s transformation.

Fans rave about Tom Hanks’ transformation into Mister Rogers

Since the first trailer for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood debuted, fans noted how much Hanks embodied the character of Rogers.

“Wow, he looks a lot like Mr Rogers,” said one person.

Another added, “I can’t believe how much TOM Hanks looks like mister RogerS MIND BLOWN.”

Someone else said, “I keep seeing clips from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and he looks so much like Tom Hanks!”

Tom Hanks and Mister Rogers are cousins

Access Hollywood revealed to Hanks at a screening of the film in New York City that he and Rogers are actually related! They are sixth cousins according to the genealogy research company, Ancestry.

“No, impossible … you’re pulling our leg,” said Hanks’ wife, actress Rita Wilson while looking at the diagram of their relationship.

“Listen…it all just comes together, you see,” referring to the grand scheme of him playing Rogers in the film and this real-life coincidence.

Hanks and Rogers are descendants of two brothers who fought in the Revolutionary War together. “For more than 30 years, Ancestry has helped millions of people discover the story of what led to them, including the remarkable connection between Fred Rogers and Tom Hanks. It’s no surprise they are related as the similarities between the two are uncanny,” said Ancestry’s director of research Jennifer Utley.

The film is officially in theaters on Nov. 22.