‘You have mail’ turns 25! A look into the chemistry of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

Dial up the old modem because You’ve got mail is 25! To celebrate, ET cracks open our safe and looks back at interviews with the film stars. Tom Hanks And Mega Ryanduring their press tour for the 1998 romantic comedy.

“It’s just something natural,” 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 really good friends,” he admitted. “We see each other every now and then. It’s like we don’t have coffee together. But when we move on, we just pick up where we left off and it’s an effortless thing, I don’t think either of us explores it too much because If we did, it would be a problem.”

He continued, “We don’t plan. We just do it.’

The dynamic film duo first joined forces in the 1990s Joe vs. the volcano. Although the film itself was forgettable, the magnetism of the stars became an undeniable force. They collaborated again in 1993 with Nora Ephron Sleepless in Seattlewith the trio once again creating magic with the New York City set You’ve got mail five years later.

Getty Images / Handout

You’ve got mail revolves around business rivals Kathleen (Ryan) and Joe (Hanks) – the former is an independent bookstore owner, and the latter owns a chain of mega-bookstores – who unwittingly connect online and form an unlikely relationship.

“This is really about this strange investigation into the franchising of America,” Hanks told ET at the time. “This concept where large retail chains come into the neighborhoods and change the appearance of the neighborhoods, both for the better and for the worse.”

For Ryan, now 62, the project served as a starting point for her introduction to the digital world. And for today’s audiences, it feels like something of a 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 had never turned one on,” she said, joking that her son, a then five-year-old Jack Quaid – was already more technically savvy than she was.

“It’s just so much fun and I love email,” says Ryan. “I just love it. And it got me excited 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 had an email with one person and then an instant message from someone, and so the four of us are in the same room, but we always try to comment on things like five lines above where we’re typing, so it’s It’s always been very confusing,” Hanks admitted.

“I couldn’t understand what was happening,” Ryan said of her chat room experience. “It all happened quickly, everyone was spelling badly.”

Warner Bros. Pictures

Another thing that Hanks and Ryan completely agreed on was their admiration for each other’s work.

“He’s a very inventive actor and really, really, really tries to find new things for every take,” Ryan said of her co-star. “He really challenges himself. You know, Nora could have finished ten takes ago, and he would still be trying new and equally great things. I just think he’s fantastic.”

For his part, Hanks marveled at the way Ryan pushed him in new ways as an actor.

“I’m just along for the ride,” he said. “But it’s like playing tennis with someone who’s a better tennis player than you. Maybe you can beat them if you’re really into the game, but chances are he or she is going to beat you. And that just makes it so better. Then you’ll have a nice lunch afterwards.’

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

“I don’t really know what makes her tick, and I think she likes the fact that I don’t know what makes her tick,” he said. “I think she’s protective of that.”

When she heard Ryan tell it, she was equally enamored with Hanks’ easy-going attitude.

“He’s just more than 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 in the movie, the people on the street. What’s also great is that he gets good attention and he gets what people want to give him in a very graceful way. That’s something What he’s done almost better than anyone else.”

Warner Bros.

Ryan was last in the spotlight before 2015 Ithaca, a war drama in which she made her directorial debut and co-starred with Hanks, Sam Shepard and her son. Now she returns to the world of rom-coms with What happens later. Ryan wrote, directed and stars in the film next door David Duchovny.

“You’re the center of attention. You get involved in someone else’s creative life in an intimate way,” she recently told ET about her experience behind the camera. “That’s cool. You learn to talk to musicians, you learn to look for the light with one [director of photography] whose life revolves around the light, the sound. As a director you become aware of life in a very intense way.”

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