Hollywood star Tom Hanks refused to watch the original The Ladykillers movie before filming the remake, because he didn't want to be intimated by SIR Alec Guinness' performance.

The 47-year-old actor deliberately avoided the 1955 comedy because he feared Alexander Mackendrick's version would threaten his acting abilities in the Coen Brothers' film.

Hanks confesses, "I'm sure I would have been intimidated by Alec Guinness and that's the last thing I need. So I didn't bother watching it. You can't do anything about comparisons. Legends like that stand on their own.

"I just go out, do my job and see whether it works. I wouldn't have gotten involved if this had been a straight remake. If it's already been done successfully one way, why bother? But the Coens weren't interested in that either, so it gave us a free hand to reinterpret."

18/06/2004 19:35