WATCH: Tom Hanks Plays Christian Minister-Turned-Entertainer Fred Rogers
Tom Hanks will play Fred Rogers in the new movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which released its trailer today.
Rogers is best-known as the host of the long-running children's TV show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. But fewer people know that Rogers graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister before he went into children's television. Language on the show—such as his catchphrase "Won't you be my neighbor?"—was directly inspired by Jesus' command to love your neighbor as yourself.
In a May 2001 commencement address at Marquette University, Rogers said, "I believe that appreciation is a holy thing—that when we look for what's best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we're doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we're participating in something sacred."
It's unclear from the trailer whether the film will explore Rogers' faith, which was deeply examined in last year's documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? In the trailer, Hanks' Rogers speaks of the preciousness of life: "I think the best thing we can do is to let people know that each one of them is precious."