Tom Hanks talks about playing a real-life hero in Captain Phillips

Awards buzz is circulating around Tom Hanks for his role in factual drama Captain Phillips.

The film, directed by The Bourne Ultimatum's Paul Greengrass, is an account of the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the Maersk Alabama. And Hollywood star Hanks has been talking about the importance of doing justice to the real Richard Phillips' dramatic story.

"I think it’s important not to redefine somebody’s motivations," said Hanks in an interview with "You have to have people do or say things they never did or said, and be in places they never were... You’ve got to be a journalist and a historian and a filmmaker all at the same time.”

After a tense standoff, Richard Phillips and his crew of 19 survived the harrowing ordeal – but the real-life Captain plays down his role in the crisis.

"I’ve been more scared on ships," Phillips said. "I’ve had a fire in the engine room where I thought I had dead engineers. I’ve been through hurricanes. I feel glad that I didn’t lose any of my crew [on the Maersk Alabama].”

Given that Phillips' story is so ripe with dramatic potential, we're anticipating a nail-biting thriller of the first order. Captain Phillips is released on 18 October.