Tom Hanks Opens Up on ‘Sobering’ Filming ‘Band of Brothers’ During 9/11

by Matthew Memrick

Actor Tom Hanks recently revealed a “sobering” connection between his “Band of Brothers” and the 9/11 tragedy.

This week marked the 20th anniversary of the award-winning series.

The dark timing of the event put the series on hold for two weeks after just one episode.

The show featured future “Homeland” and “Billions” star Damien Lewis, Ron Livingston (Boardwalk Empire), and Donnie Wahlberg (Blue Bloods. Hanks’s son, Colin, also was in the show along with “Friends” star David Schwimmer.

Hanks talked to Deadline about the possibility that the eye-opening World War II series would end after 9/11 altogether.

“We thought it quite possible that the broadcast of the series would be put on hold indefinitely,” Hanks said.

The show’s executive producer added everyone thought World War III had begun.

Many feared the show would be “too simplistic” and too patriotic after the attacks.

“America was again facing a long, unknowable struggle against an enemy that has been, unquestioningly, working for the dark side of humanity,” Hanks said. 

Hanks expounded on the Nazis and the Japanese and their dark reasons for fighting. He said the reasons came down to “race, theology and “of a domination of a status quo based on divisions by caste.”

Twenty years later, Hanks offered up a famous quote from a former American president.

“As Harry Truman said: “It is easier to remove tyrants and destroy concentration camps than it is to kill the ideas which gave them birth and strength.”

Podcast To Go With Anniversary Of Hanks’ Series

According to, HBO is also releasing a 12-part podcast to go into each episode of the “Band of Brothers” series.

Stars will talk about their experiences in making the show and how the series affected their lives.

The website said Tom Hanks and producers “have tapped noted soccer commentator Roger Bennett as the presenter for the podcast.” 

Hanks even wrote one of the episodes.

Bennett is known for his “Men in Blazers” podcast and television show. Bennett works with co-host Michael Davies on the show to “explain real football to an American audience.

The podcast host told Deadline that the “Band of Brothers” series was essential for him.

“Like thousands, I watch it every year ritually,” Bennett said. “The face of an America I grew up believing in. Of everyday heroism, selflessness, and global leadership.”

Hanks Keeping Up With War Dramas

Before his work on Band of Brothers with Steven Spielberg, Hanks starred in “Saving Private Ryan.”

Recently, he rejoined Spielberg for another World War II series called “Masters of the Air.” The show follows the U.S. Eighth Air Force unit. The producers chose the English town of Hemel Hempstead to recreate the 1940s setting.

“Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought The Air War Against Nazi Germany” inspired the show. Donald L. Miller wrote it.

According to The BBC, the show revolves around a unit known as the “Mighty Eighth.”

The famous united bombed Berlin, Hanover, Leipzig, and Dresden. The team “destroyed enemy targets, including rail facilities and oil refineries, while also engaging in air-to-air fighter combat.”