'You've Got Mail' turns 25! Inside the chemistry of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan


Check the old modem because You've got mail It's 25! To celebrate, ET is opening our vault and revisiting interviews with the film's stars, Tom Hanks and meg ryanduring her press tour for the 1998 romantic comedy.

“It's a natural thing,” Hanks said of his chemistry with Ryan. “It's like, why are we friends with the people we're friends with?”

The actor, now 67, explained the surprising reason why their on-screen dynamic was so powerful.

“I have to say that Meg and I are not very close friends,” he admitted. “We see each other from time to time. It's like we don't go out for coffee… But when we pick up, we just pick up where we left off and it's kind of effortless which I don't think. “Any of us look into it too much because if we did, it would be a problem”.

He continued: “We don't plan. We just do it.”

The on-screen dynamic duo first joined forces in the 1990s. Joe against the volcano. Although the film itself was forgettable, the magnetism of the stars became an undeniable force. They teamed up again in 1993 with Nora Ephron for Sleepless in Seattlewith the trio making magic once again with the New York City set You've got mail five years later.

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You've got mail It centers on business rivals Kathleen (Ryan) and Joe (Hanks), the former an independent bookstore owner and the latter a chain of mega-bookstores, who unknowingly go online and form an unlikely relationship.

“A lot of it is, really, this weird examination of franchising in America,” Hanks told ET at the time. “This concept of big chain stores coming into neighborhoods and changing the complexion of neighborhoods, both for better and for worse.”

For Ryan, now 62, the project served as a starting point for his introduction to the digital world. And to today's audiences, it feels like a kind of time capsule for those who lived through the rise of the Internet age.

“They sent me a computer at the beginning of all this and I hadn't even turned it on,” he said, joking that his son, then 5 years old, Jack Quaid – I already had more technical knowledge than her.

“It's so much fun and I love email,” Ryan gushed. “I just love it. And it turned me on at the beginning of this movie.”

Both Ryan and Hanks agreed, at the time, that the concept of chat rooms and instant messaging was not for them.

“I've been emailing with one person and then with someone IMing, so four of us are all in the same room, but we always try to comment on things like five lines above where we write, so it's always been very confusing,” Hanks admitted.

“I couldn't understand what was going on,” Ryan said of his experience in the chat room. “Everything was going fast, everyone was writing wrong.”

Warner Bros. Photos

Another thing Hanks and Ryan agreed on unconditionally was their mutual admiration for each other's work.

“He's a very inventive actor and really tries to find new things to do in every take,” Ryan said of his co-star. “He really challenges himself. You know, Nora could have finished 10 takes ago and she'd still be trying new, equally cool things. I just think he's fantastic.”

For his part, Hanks marveled at how Ryan pushed him to embrace new ways as an actor.

“I just follow the path,” he said. “But it's like playing tennis with someone who's a better player than you. Now, maybe you can beat him if you're really in the game, but chances are he'll beat you. And that just makes it better.” Afterwards you will have a good lunch.”

At the film's premiere, Hanks said he found Ryan “very mysterious” and hailed her as one of the “particularly great women on screen.”

“I'm not really sure what motivates her, and I think she revels in the fact that I don't know what motivates her,” he said. “I think she protects that.”

According to Ryan, she was equally enamored of Hanks' calm demeanor.

“He goes beyond being a generous person, he's just incredibly generous with his energy, with everyone, you know?” she said. “Not just the actors in the movie, the whole crew of the movie, the people on the street. I think another great thing is that he gets good attention and he gets what people want to give him in a really elegant way. That's something that “He's done almost better than anyone else.”

Warner Bros.

Ryan was most recently in the spotlight in 2015. Ithaca, a war drama in which she made her directorial debut and starred alongside Hanks, Sam Shepard and their son. She now returns to the world of romantic comedies with What happens next?. Ryan co-wrote, directed and stars in the film alongside David Duchovny.

“You can be front and center. You can get involved with another person's creative life in an intimate way,” she recently told ET about her experience behind the camera. “That's great. You learn to talk to musicians, you learn to search for light with a (director of photography) whose life revolves around light, sound. You become aware of life in a very intense way as a director.” .


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