Acting is vacation compared to direction

New Delhi: Hollywood star Tom Hanks, who opted for the director`s chair a second time in `Larry Crowne` feels acting is like a vacation compared to his stint behind the camera.

Hanks first directorial effort was `That Thing You Do!`. The 55-year-old star, much loved for his roles in `Forrest Gump`, `Apollo 13`, `Saving Private Ryan`, `Philadelphia` and `Cast Away`, has also written and produced his new rom-com, which released in India this Friday.

"Acting is almost like a vacation compared with the workload that a director has. An actor really only has to show people what he`s thinking while a director has to start having meetings eight months before the first day of shooting and continues having meetings nine months after it`s all over," Hanks told PTI in an email interview.

Another disadvantage of being the master of the ship was that Hanks had to show up on time for every shoot.

`Larry Crowne` is about a middle aged man, played by Hanks, who decides to go to college after being downsized.

"I wanted to talk about reinvention on an authentic scale. I thought `What about a guy who has done everything right, but one day he walks into work and they say, `Nothing personal, but you`re fired`?` And that made me think going back to college would be probably the only thing you could do. And then what if Julia Roberts is his teacher?," Hanks said.

The two-time Oscar-winner says Julia Roberts was always the first choice because she reminded him of his past teacher crushes and the actor ensured that he gets to say "I Love You" to his teacher this time.

"There was never anyone but Julia (Roberts). I had some teachers who looked like Julia. I would see them and think, `I love you`. Make no mistake of Julia`s ability to find what is funny in a scene smack up against what is authentic," Hanks said about his co-star in `Charlie Wilson`s War`.

The actor says the idea of the movie came from his own childhood, where he saw many people returning to college in search of a better future.

"My first years in college were much like Larry`s. I was in junior college because it was my only option. Two years in junior college became the jumping off point for everything that came later and I think this was the same for others — not just kids out of high school, but guys back from Vietnam, wives going back to school after their kids were older, and folks who were looking to change their lives for the better."