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Masters of the Air's Jon Ewart reveals Tom Hank's 'big' gesture that helped cast on set of Apple TV+ drama - Exclusive

Jon appears alongside Austin Butler, Barry Keoghan, and Callum Turner in the series

Jon Ewart and Tom Hanks split image
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
26 January 2024
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Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks have teamed up for Apple TV+'s brand new World War Two epic about the men who flew in the 100th Bomb Group – aka the Bloody Hundredth – and helped defeat Nazi Germany. 

Starring alongside the likes of Barry Keoghan, Callum Turner and Austin Butler in Masters of the Air is rising star Jon Ewart, who sat down with HELLO! for an exclusive interview about the series and revealed the "big" on-set gesture from Tom Hanks. 

WATCH: Austin Butler and Barry Keoghan star in Masters of the Air

"Tom gave us plenty of advice," he said of the Forrest Gump star, who executive produces the nine-part series alongside Spielberg. "It was very much that you had to put your work in and do your research, but he provided everything we needed to allow that to happen. One of the big things he did is he brought Captain Dale Dye on board." 

Captain Dye is an actor, technical advisor and former Marine who provided military expertise on the sets of Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

Jon Ewart at Masters of the Air premiere
Jon Ewart at Masters of the Air premiere in London

Jon, who plays Lieutenant William Couch in the show, continued: "He's a veteran of the Vietnam War and was in Saving Private Ryan with Tom. He would make sure that we weren't looking like idiots and that our movements were correct."

Speaking about the atmosphere on set, Jon went on: "I think we all knew that we were part of something a lot bigger than us and that this is a part of history. As soon as we put that flight gear on, everything changed and became very serious. We're playing real people. 

"They made sure that we did the job right because it was such an important piece."

Jon Ewart
Jon plays Lieutenant William Couch in the series

Despite Tom's A-list status, he's still "the most approachable guy ever", according to Jon, whose previous credits include EastEnders and the ITV mini-series, Trauma. "With the amount of talent on set, we all learned so much from each other and he knew that because he's been in our position. It felt really emotional and special," he explained. 

"There were a lot of big names but they made it clear that this wasn't just another television production, this is something really special."

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson attend World Premiere of Apple TV+'s "Masters of the Air" at Regency Village Theatre on January 10, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.© Getty Images
Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson at the World Premiere of Apple TV+'s Masters of the Air

For those unfamiliar with the series, it tells the story of the men who flew in the 100th Bomb Group of the US Eighth Air Force and helped lead the Allies to victory in the war with Nazi Germany. 

Based on Donald L Miller's book of the same name, the drama portrays "the psychological and emotional price paid by these young men as they helped destroy the horror of Hitler’s Third Reich is at the heart of Masters of the Air," according to the synopsis. 

Austin Butler and Callum Turner in Masters of the Air © Apple TV+
Austin Butler and Callum Turner star in Masters of the Air

"Some were shot down and captured; some were wounded or killed. And some were lucky enough to make it home. Regardless of individual fate, a toll was exacted on them all."

Master of the Air arrives on Apple TV+ on Friday 26 January.

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