Meg Ryan on casting 'charming' Tom Hanks in her new film 'Ithaca'

(CNN)It's been 18 years since Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks shared the screen in their box office hit "You've Got Mail" and now they've teamed up again.

This time, for Ryan's directorial debut in "Ithaca."
"[Tom] did us this great big favor, he came for one day. He had this much to do and he's so charming and loving," Ryan told CNN at the film's Cinema Society New York premiere Thursday night. "Everyone was so excited he was there."
    Ryan and Hanks have starred together in three box office hits: "Joe Versus the Volcano" in 1990, "Sleepless in Seattle" in 1993 and 1998's "You've Got Mail." The two are longtime friends, which Hanks acknowledged during his day on the "Ithaca" set.
    "He said (to the crew) now we've gotten to know each other really well in these last ten hours," Ryan recalled. "But I just want to thank you for helping Meg on her first time out."
    Ryan directed and also stars in "Ithaca," about a 14-year-old boy who delivers telegrams in to families who have loved ones fighting in World War II.
    "It's a weird thing to do [both]," Ryan told CNN. "Because as a director, you're looking around with an objective point of view at everyone and everything and you're hyper aware of what's going on. But as an actor, you're very inside your own head giving yourself a mind trip in a very subjective way about the character. So the combination of those things is really awkward. I don't know how people do it."
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    Coincidentally, Ryan and Hanks both have films opening this week. Ryan's "Ithaca" and Hanks with "Sully," about the terrifying water landing of US Airways 1549 by Captain Chesley Sullenberger.
    "It's so cool," Ryan said of the timing. "I ran into him earlier this week, it's cool ... I wish him success with 'Sully,' it looks great, doesn't it?"
    "Ithaca" hits theaters Friday.