Updated at: 09/29/2013 10:05 AM
By JAKE COYLE
(AP) NEW YORK - Tom Hanks has had enough of playing real people.
In Paul Greengrass’ docudrama "Captain Phillips," which premiered on Friday as the opening night film of the New York Film Festival, he plays Richard Phillips, the captain of a cargo ship famously taken by Somali pirates in 2009.
Earlier this year, Hanks made his Broadway debut playing New York journalist Mike McAlary in Nora Ephron’s "Lucky Guy." And later this year, he stars as Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks," about the making of "Mary Poppins."
"I got to get out of this racket," Hanks said sheepishly ahead of the Friday night premiere. "It’s killing me."
"Captain Phillips," which is expected to be a major contender in Hollywood’s awards season, debuted at the NYFF to enthusiastic reviews and particular acclaim for Hanks’ performance.
But playing real-life people comes with various pressures of authenticity. Verisimilitude is a primary aim for Greengrass, who made the true-life tales "United 93" and "Bloody Sunday" with similar documentary-like realism.
Hanks met several times with Phillips at his Vermont home to help prepare for the role.
"You don’t want to be an idiot," said Hanks. "You don’t want to ask, `What were you feeling? What was it like? What were you feeling? Are you a hero?’ _ you know, ask questions like most journalists do when the time comes."
The crowd, composed largely of members of the media, roared.
"Captain Phillips" opens in theaters Oct. 11. The 51st New York Film Festival, which also will feature the premieres of Spike Jonze’s "Her" and Ben Stiller’s "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," runs through Oct. 13.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle
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