Tom Hanks chose an unusual but simple method in voice-acting to finish recording his character’s final scenes in Toy Story 4. He turned his back.
Hanks, 62, has been the voice of Woody in the Toy Story movie franchise created by Disney and Pixar since it began in the mid-‘90s.
Today, Woody, along with the rest of the toys in the film such as Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Rex (Wallace Shawn), and Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles) have become iconic figures.
Why Tom Hanks turned his back when recording last scenes in ‘Toy Story 4’
To finish what may be the final installment in the franchise, Hanks had to turn away from the stage. Some of the scenes were, unsurprisingly, emotional and required the actor to get himself “to a place” where he could deliver his lines, which meant no distractions.
When asked, “How do you tackle emotional scenes when you’re on the soundstage with the script?” during an interview with The New York Times, the actor explained why he chose to turn his back but not before highlighting the challenges of voice-acting.
“It’s an imaginary stretch. To the point of exhaustion. Because you’re only using your voice, you can’t go off mic, you cannot use any of your physicality,” Hanks said. “You have to imagine that physicality. In a lot of ways that’s the antithesis of what you do as an actor.”
Then he explained how simply turning his chair around, so it wasn’t facing “the stage and the people” helped him get in the right state of mind to deliver his lines.
“I found a lot of times the only way I could do it would be closing my eyes. Not seeing the stage and the people there, and trying to work myself to a place,” he told the publication.
“My last few sessions I had them set up the mic stand with my back to them. I don’t think I could’ve done the last few recording sessions the other way. If there was a scintilla of self-consciousness to any of those lines, it would have been unsatisfying.”
Tim Allen texted Hanks about final pages of script
We won’t know what the final scenes of Toy Story 4 entail until the film hits theaters this Friday, June 21, 2019, but we do know from the reactions of Allen and Hanks they’re going to be a doozy.
In the same interview, Hanks confirmed his co-star warned him about the end of the movie.
“As we were getting closer to what I knew were going to be the last few recording sessions, Tim sent me a text, saying: ‘Have you done these last pages yet? I’m still getting over it,’” he said.
After the way Toy Story 3 ended — no spoilers here for those who haven’t seen it — we know tissues should be on hand for watching Toy Story 4.
How to watch ‘Toy Story’ movies
Unfortunately, none of the films in the franchise are available to stream at this time with a basic subscription on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.
Disney is set to launch their own streaming service, Disney+, later this year, and has pulled most, if not all, of their content from other platforms.