Actor Jon Hamm, star and producer of the Gregory McDonald mystery novel and film franchise reboot “Confess, Fletch,” is a fan of novelist John Irving. He says the 1982 film adaptation of Irving’s classic “The World According to Garp,” starring Robin Williams, Glenn Close, and John Lithgow, came the closest to capturing the unique tone of the novel.
A treat for me is, and has been, reading the works of John Irving — starting with “The Hotel New Hampshire,” moving through “The World According to Garp,” and finishing with “A Prayer for Owen Meany.”
[“The World According to Garp”] got the right tone and had the right actor in the middle of it. Well, two of the right actors: [John] Lithgow and Robin Williams were phenomenal in that movie. Glenn Close as well.
Any [of] John Irving’s stories really have to have the right tone. I think when you see “The World According to Garp,” directed by George Roy Hill, there is a very talented man at the helm, keeping his hand on the tiller and steering it away from sentimentality, or what have you.
There's a lot of mysticism and almost magical realism in [them], and I think that having a good sense of imagination and wonder about the absurdity of life, which also very much are things that John Irving gets into, is a pretty good prerequisite for wanting to be an actor.