Tom Hanks is back on the big screen today. This time, he plays a
real-life character -- Captain Richard Phillips.
Navy SEALS rescued Phillips in 2009, after he was held captive by Somali
Washington Correspondent Ted Fioraliso scored one of the first interviews
with Phillips shortly after he returned home.
Critics are calling "Captain Phillips" a "great movie," but for the movie's
namesake, Captain Richard Phillips, this thriller was all too real.
"There were times I didn't think I'd get out. But I was always ready to try
to get out and was hopeful, always hopeful," says Phillips.
13abc's Ted Fioraliso interviewed Phillips four years ago at Upstate New
York's Elmira College, where he was given an honorary
degree just weeks after Navy SEALS rescued him from Somali pirates who raided his
ship and held him hostage on an 18-foot lifeboat.
At the time, the story was that Phillips offered himself up to the pirates
in exchange for the safe release of his crew.
A year later, some of those crew members told CNN, it wasn't true.
"We hear this PR stuff coming out
about him giving himself up, and he's still hostage. The whole crew was like,
‘What?" says Mike Perry.
Phillips says it's the media that got the story wrong. He says they wanted a
story about a hero captain.
According to CNN, Phillips also admitted he ignored warnings urging him to
move farther out to sea because of piracy in the area. Some of the crew is now
But Hanks, who got to know Phillips during the filming, praised the
"The name of his book is ‘A Captain's Duty.' And I think the word ‘duty'
there is what matters. There is one guy who is responsible for that entire
ship, and that's him. Whether for good or for bad, he was the captain. And he's
the guy who has to solve every problem that comes that way," Hanks said.
The film focuses on the relationship between Captain Phillips and his
hostage takers. It's rated PG-13.
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