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Tom Hanks hails Curracloe beach in Co Wexford as most “magical and wonderful” place he’s ever filmed

He said filming in Co Wexford was an experience he will never forget thanks

Hollywood legend Tom Hanks has hailed the sunny south east as the most “magical and wonderful” place he’s ever filmed in.

The 62-year-old actor spent two months in the nineties filming Saving Private Ryan on Curracloe beach in Wexford and has fond memories of mingling with the locals.

The award winning actor recalled the “magnificent” experience he had shooting the Oscar-winning movie in the county.

He said filming on Curracloe beach was an experience he will never forget thanks to the laid back attitude of the locals and the magnificent scenery.

Directed by Steven Spielberg and set during the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the iconic movie won five Academy awards and a Golden Globe Award for best motion picture.

Curracloe Strand and Ballinesker beach were both used for the filming of the D-Day sequence due to the similarity to Omaha beach in Normandy.

Scenes from the Saoirse Ronan movie Brooklyn were also shot at Curracloe.

Filming for Saving Private Ryan began on June 27, 1997, and lasted two months.

The village of Curracloe lacked 3-phase electricity but when Spielberg chose to shoot there, it was connected.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Stephen Byrne, Hanks, who is reprising his role as Woody in Toy Story 4, remembered, in particular, a young Irish boy that made a big impression on him during his time in the Model County.

Tom said: “There was one day I was sitting in a car. This young boy comes up and he’s got his wellington boots on and he’s walking along and walks by and he sees me in the car, and he keeps going but then circles back, so I’m thinking he’s coming to say ‘Hello, Mr Hanks’.

“So I rolled down the window and I said, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ and he said to me, ‘Are you with the film?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I am’ and he said, ‘Ah, well, welcome to Screen’ [near Curracloe] and he mosied right along.”

Hanks recalled how he grew fond of the laid back boozing culture in Gorey.

He said: “And it’s funny, it was the most magnificent thing... we would go to work on Monday mornings and all the pint glasses outside the bars in Gorey town, on the tables and the window sills.

“And I was like, if this was America these would all be stolen, but here they just finish them and put them down.”

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