‘Saving Private Ryan’: Tom Hanks Says He Felt Like He Was ‘in a Holy Place’ After Visiting Omaha Beach

by Jeremy Spirogis
Tom Hanks

Saving Private Ryan is widely-considered among the best conflict movies ever made. The film’s intense violence, highly effective appearing performances, and lifelike portrayal of pivotal moments in World War II make it undeniably nice. Tom Hanks’ efficiency, particularly, is often considered among the best of his profession.

Hanks himself remembers the robust feelings everybody felt throughout manufacturing, and recollects feeling like he’d visited a “holy place” when he went to the actual Omaha Beach. 

‘Saving Private Ryan’ was filmed in Ireland and England

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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Although Saving Private Ryan reenacted the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France on display, the extraordinary opening sequence was not filmed there. Steven Spielberg shot the film’s intense opening Omaha Beach scene in Ireland, at Ballinesker Beach. 

Spielberg was decided to make each scene in Saving Private Ryan as lifelike as potential, and Ballinesker Beach was the closest reproduction they might discover for Omaha Beach. 

Tom Hanks went to Omaha Beach after taking pictures ‘Saving Private Ryan’

Hanks additionally had a serious half in creating Saving Private Ryan, taking part in the lead position of Captain Miller. In the movie, it’s his accountability to find Private Ryan and produce him again residence safely. 

Hanks claimed taking pictures Saving Private Ryan was a “tactile experience” for everybody concerned throughout a current interview with Graham Bensinger. Because his character’s group was primarily based on a real-life army unit, he tried to search out proof of its existence throughout a go to to Omaha Beach. 

“The movie was shooting the sequences there and I lingered,” Hanks mentioned. “Well, I walked the entire length of Omaha Beach, from one end to the next. And just knowing everything that had happened there, I got to the very end and I was wondering if there was going to be any sort of sign of who we were [in the film] …”

Tom Hanks was ‘in a holy place’ whereas at Omaha Beach

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At the top of the seaside, Hanks noticed an array of memorials devoted to fallen troopers. When he lastly discovered a plaque commemorating his unit in Saving Private Ryan, Hanks felt like he entered a sacred house. 

“There’s memorials all scattered along and you stop and you read each one, and at the end of it was this plaque on this concrete retaining wall … and that was us, we were Charlie Company of the Rangers,” Hanks mentioned. “And to see that there, after we had gone through this kind of thing, it was—kinda rocked me. Made the hairs stand up on the back of my head. And walking back down, back to the very famous cemetery there, I just realized I was in a holy place.”

Hanks says ‘Saving Private Ryan’ captured solely a fraction of Omaha Beach’s significance

“We were interlopers, of course,” Hanks mentioned. “We had the audacity and the hubris to think that somehow we could capture some of what that place means in the history of the world. It turned out we sort of did, but at the end of the day, all you can do is kind of like bow your head in understanding of, you know, the great providence that had happened there.”

“I don’t think anybody who has some semblance of historical knowledge, or even without it, can go to a place like that—and they are scattered all over France, they’re scattered all over Europe—and not take pause there, and think, ‘What would I have done if I had been a 19-year-old kid there on that day?’” 

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