Captain Richard Phillips -- the real-life HERO behind the Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips" -- tells TMZ he wasn't inspired by the "Love Boat" ... 'cause that show SUCKED.
At least, that's what we think he said ... he's got a pretty thick Massachusetts accent.
Here's the deal, CP was at an event in D.C. yesterday and we jokingly asked if he was inspired by the classic '80s TV show. It sounded like he said, "Not at all. Poor TV in port."
Some people in the office think he said, "In poor" instead of "in port" ... but that wouldn't really make much sense. We've literally been debating this for 10 minutes.
Either way, dude's a hero ... he wasn't a huge "Love Boat" fan and we should all probably see his movie.
It's what Isaac Washington would want ...