Sully became a true hero when he successfully guided US Airways Flight 1549 to a safe emergency water landing on New York's Hudson River in 2009, after both its engines had been disabled by a flock of Canada geese, and Eastwood admits he used a real-life moment when he was in the Army as he filmed scenes with Tom Hanks, who plays Sullenberger.

The director also experienced an emergency water landing when the Navy plane, on which he was hitching a ride, had to ditch off the coast of California.

"I know the anxieties when the engines are out and you're heading toward the water," Eastwood tells Parade.

And Hanks admits he jumped at the chance to portray a real-life hero from his generation in the movie Sully, which hits cinemas in September (16).

"Sully did almost a superhuman thing," he tells the publication. "(He was) calm, easy, confident... (There was) no assurance that it was going to be successful. That is something else."

For his part, the hero captain just hopes Eastwood's new movie will serve to inspire people to do their best: "I hope the movie gives people a renewed sense of what is possible," Sullenberger says. "When we, as (President Abraham) Lincoln would say, 'listen to our better angels' and work together, there's little we cannot accomplish, even in the worst of circumstances."