As Tom Hanks walked the red carpet at a recent screening for his new film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” starring him as Mister Rogers, the actor was given some wild news.
Hanks, alongside his wife, the actor Rita Wilson, was told by “Access Hollywood” this week that he is, in fact, a sixth cousin to the late Fred Rogers, host of the long-running children’s show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
“No, impossible! You’re pulling our leg,” said an astonished Wilson.
Hanks, not missing a beat, casually responded: “It all just comes together, you see.”
The actor goes on to jokingly wonder whether Johnny Depp also is related to Rogers.
An Ancestry.com family tree shared in the “Access Hollywood” report indicates that Hanks and Rogers are connected through a distant cousin named Johannes Meffert.
At the same premiere, Hanks revealed to E! News that he’s grown to appreciate songs from the film. He’s often sung the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” song that the film derives its namesake, but Hanks said that’s not his favorite.
“I actually enjoy the goodbye song a little better,” he said, adding that he likes that the song looks ahead to new days bringing new things to talk about.
Wilson added that she’d like to play these songs for her grandkids.
As Mister Rogers used to say, what “a good feeling to know you’re alive.”
Fred Rogers through his life
Fred Rogers through his life
393868 02: (File Photo) Fred Rogers, The Host Of The Children's Television Series, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," Rests His Arms On A Small Trolley In This Promotional Portrait From The 1980's. "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" Will Broadcast It's Last New Episode August 31, 2001 It Was Announced August 30 In A Statement By Rogers From Nantucket, Ma. Rogers Has Been Broadcasting His Gentle Entertainment To Children For Thirty-Four Years. (Photo By Getty Images)
Actor Fred Rogers holding a balloon and puppets in the public TV childrens program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.(FOR CORRECT REPRODUCTION MIRROR IMAGE.) (Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: U.S. President-elect Bill Clinton (R) holds a trolley car given to him by Fred Rogers (L) during the Presidential Inaugural Celebration for Children 19 January 1993 at the Kennedy Center. Fred Rogers is the host of the children's show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood". (Photo credit should read J.DAVID AKE/AFP/Getty Images)
385913 01: (ITALY OUT) Fred Rogers of television show "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" fame attends the presentation ceremony of the Christopher Awards February 22, 2001 in New York City. Rogers won the award for the second time for his decades of service in children's television programming. The Christopher Awards recognize positive achievements in the media. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Liaison)
WASHINGTON, : File photo dated 03 April 2002 shows legendary children's television star Fred Rogers of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" endorsing the PBS television show for children called "Between the Lions" in the East Room of the White House. Fred Rogers, who won the hearts of millions of American children and parents with the "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" show, died 27 February, 2003 from cancer at the age of 74. Rogers, a Presbyterian minister turned host of PBS public television's longest-running show, died at his home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after a brief battle with stomach cancer. PBS is a private, nonprofit media owned and operated by 349 US public television stations with noncommericial and educational services and the program is intended to help millions of children become better readers. AFP PHOTO Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 9, 2002: (FILE PHOTO) U.S. President George W. Bush presents Fred Rogers (L) with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award during a ceremony July 9, 2002 at the White House in Washington, DC. The medal is the highest civilian award given to those who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. Rogers, who was the host of public television's "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for more than 30 years, died at the age of 74 February 27, 2003 at his Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home. He had been suffering from stomach cancer. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)