“I said, ‘Sorry you got robbed,’ and he just said, ‘Shake it off, shake it off,’ like I was nuts for being concerned about it,” Mr. Angelotti said.
The outpouring of love for Mr. Hanks came as no surprise to Brian Grazer, a producer and a partner at Imagine who has made seven movies with him. Mr. Grazer recalled trying to cast “Apollo 13,” the story of the failed lunar landing. The studio wanted a big action star, until Mr. Grazer asked his fellow filmmakers, “Who does the world want to save most?” The answer, according to him and the others, was Tom Hanks.
“That’s why we went after him,” he said.
“He’s honest and noble and gifted, and people love earned success,” Mr. Grazer added. “When we make movies about earned success, when human beings demonstrate earned success, we Americans and the world love those people.”
The film historian and critic Leonard Maltin said he was shocked by the news of Mr. Hanks’s illness. Then he read the statement that Mr. Hanks had posted on Instagram, along with a photograph of a medical glove in a hazardous-waste container. It said, in part, “To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus and were found to be positive.”
“It was very reassuring,” Mr. Maltin said. “And it’s what you’d expect from Tom: sensible, down to earth, even self-deprecating.
“What I hope now is that this is a learning process for people around that world. He’s such a prominent person, so well loved, and he has come forward. Now we will have a chance to experience how he — and his equally famous wife — recover from this illness.”