“America’s Dad” is loved by virtually everyone. (We’re only saying virtually because we don’t want to presume but come on, it’s Tom Hanks). From his brilliant on-screen roles to his genuine off-screen personality, Tom Hanks is an American gem. We’re taking a look at Hanks, from his career to his personal life, we’ve got it all. Let’s see what’s something new you can learn about the beloved actor.
Nowadays fans are used to Tom Hanks and his confident, cool ways while giving interviews or even fan interactions. However he admitted to Rolling Stone Magazine that that wasn’t always the case. “[Growing up] I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy.”
Before playing a gay lawyer with AIDS in the historic 1993 drama Philadelphia, Hanks actually lost 35 pounds (16 kilograms). What commitment! Moreover he even thinned his hair to appear more sickly for the role. Let’s say it once more, what commitment!
Tom Hanks is a huge fan of Aston Villa, the English soccer club. In 2001, he first revealed his love for the club and can be seen frequently donning the club’s claret and blue scarf. Even when he’s waltzing red carpet events.
Ice Cream About It
Tom Hanks credits a nearby ice cream shop for helping him gain 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) for his role in the 1992 comedy-drama, A League of Their Own. Haven’t seen the movie yet? You’re missing out on an American classic.
President Abraham Lincoln
As it turns out, Tom Hanks is the third cousin, four generations removed, of former President Abraham Lincoln! Yup, you read that correctly. Their common ancestor is John Hanks, he was the great great grandfather of Lincoln and is also the six-time great grandfather of Tom Hanks. Nice one.
Greek Orthodox Church
Before he married his second wife in 1988, the actress Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks actually converted to the Greek Orthodox Church. This is the religion of Wilson and her family. Hanks revealed that, “I must say that when I go to church—and I do go to church—I ponder the mystery. I meditate on the ‘why?’ of ‘why people are as they are’ and ‘why bad things happen to good people,’ and ‘why good things happen to bad people’ … The mystery is what I think is, almost, the grand unifying theory of all mankind.”
Tom Hanks, Bellboy
Before Tom Hanks’ acting career kicked off, he was working as a hotel bellman to make ends meet. But he did get to meet a lot of celebrities this way, such as Cher, Sidney Poitier, Slappy White, and Bill Withers.
As you know, Forrest Gump is a classic! A classic that didn’t actually make much of a profit. In fact, Hanks didn’t get paid upfront for his role in the film, but he did make money on the back end. Basically he agreed to be paid in percentages of any profit that Forrest Gump made. We won’t get into specifics, but Hanks has earned millions (in the doubles) thanks to this decision.
The 61 year old is a huge, huge fan of Monty Python, the talented and super famous British surreal comedy group. Most impressively, he was asked to join them on stage for a night! At the 2002 memorial concert they held for George Harrison, Hanks was a member for the night.
Run, Forrest, Run!
Let’s talk about Forrest Gump again. The film was almost shut down because of serious financial issues. Hanks revealed to Yahoo Movies that he and the director basically saved the film. By paying for the running scenes. “The studio was one day away from pulling the plug on this one movie I was going to make, and the director came to my house and said, ‘Look, this is going to fall apart because they won’t give us the budget for shooting this one sequence, and we’ve got to have this sequence.” Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis split the cost, thus creating one of the film’s most iconic sequences.
Hanks received negative press over comments he made while promoting The Pacific, his HBO series. He expressed his personal option that during World War II, the American population was negative and also slightly racist against the Japanese. At the time, he even drew parallels between World War II and the war against terror. The war against terror saw many of its supporters accusing him throwing racism into the wars.
Band of Brothers
In 2001, Tom Hanks helped Steven Spielberg direct and produce Band of Brothers, an Emmy Award winning miniseries. Which I highly recommend you watch! As it turns out, while the duo were scouting locations in Germany, Hanks actually dislocated his shoulder. When he fell when through a rotting floor in a building they were checking out.
You’re looking at a huge supporter of NASA’s manned space program. In fact, did you know that he originally wanted to be an astronaut? Yeah, we can see that. Now he’s a member of the National Space Society and serves on the Board of governors, for the nonprofit educational space advocacy organization. Oh yeah, the asteroid 12818 Tomhanks is even named after him.
After all of the crippling sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood, especially in 2017, Tom Hanks has voiced his two cents. While speaking to the Page Six, he said, “If you threw out every film or TV show that was made by an a**hole, Netflix would go out of business. I think you do just have … to wait because this is a long game.” Hanks also added that the artist and their art are two completely separate entities. Adding, “Picasso was a womanizer, this is not excusing anybody. You just have to wait and see how it settles over the long haul. This is not a sprint, this is a marathon.”
When Harry Met Sally
Director Rob Reiner specifically spoke to Hanks about playing the lead role of Harry in When Harry Met Sally. Moreover he approached Albert Brooks, Richard Dreyfuss, and Michael Keaton for the part. However Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal immediately had chemistry, and the rest is history.