“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” Director Says ‘The Next Fred Rogers is All of Us’

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” starring Tom Hanks is now in theaters and takes viewers on a journey through the transcendent way beloved TV personality Fred Rogers practiced his Christian faith which has impacted millions across the world.

“Do you know what that means, to forgive?” Hanks, portraying Mr. Rogers, asks at the top of the film which goes on to serve as the perfect cinematic therapy session for the world today.

“It’s a decision we make to release a person from the feelings of anger we have toward them,” he continued.

The film is based on an article written by journalist Tom Junod, who formed a friendship with Rogers while writing a profile on his life and work. The movie details how their friendship changed Junod’s life by helping him to forgive someone close to him.

Although faith was the driving force of Rogers’ life, his wife, Joanne Rogers, told the filmmakers of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” that it was imperative they not portray him as a saint because his godly character was a result of the practice he put into his religious convictions.

Rogers worked in television for more than 30 years after graduating college. The only breaks he took from working in television were times he devoted to his Christian faith. The TV pioneer attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1963.

“When we first met Joanne Rogers she basically had one demand of us, which is that we not treat Fred as a saint,” writer Noah Harpster told The Christian Post at the hometown premiere of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” on Wednesday.

“That was not what we were expecting,” He added. “She said, ‘because if you treat him as a saint, his way of life is unattainable. He worked very hard at this. He got up every morning and he prayed for people by name. He thought of this as a practice. This is something he worked at every single day. And if you say he’s a saint, then to you, as a person on planet Earth, it’s unattainable.’ That kind of blew our minds. I think that is it for us. I mean, that’s that is Fred.”

A scene in the film shows how Rogers would kneel at his bedside every night to pray for people by name.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law

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