If you’re an avid lover of American cinema, you know by now that there are some actors whose names alone can make you watch their movies without even checking the trailer or knowing the genre. Tom Hanks is undoubtedly one of those actors, and we’re so thrilled to talk more about his career, achievements, blockbusters, and bits of personal life.
The sincerity and simplicity of Tom Hanks, an eternal A-list star, set him apart from the glitzy commercialism of other top-tier superstars. Here is a man who can be silly without ever being melodramatic, enthusiastic without ever being arrogant, and completely dedicated to his work without ever being the type to flaunt pointless acts.
Tom Hanks, who is 66 years old, continues to seem incredibly fresh and vibrant as he takes on the challenge of achieving authenticity and sincerity through his characters that have engraved a mark in Hollywood. If you’re a true fan of Tom Hanks, you’ll be interested to read about the 10 things that made him a lovable legend.
1. Difficult Childhood
Hanks was the third of four children. He was only five years old when his parents separated. His infant brother lived with his mother, while Hanks and the rest of his siblings resided with his father. Hanks claims that his father relocated so frequently that by the time he was ten years old, he had resided in 10 different houses.
His father, Amos Hanks, worked as a cook late at night and wouldn’t get home until eleven o’clock. Hanks and his siblings lived in their filthy flat during this time. As he recalls, if someone considered scrapping the tomato soup off the stove, it’d be like an archaeological dig. The Hollywood celebrity claims that despite his brothers’ claims that they had a dreadful upbringing and had little fun, in some respects, it was pretty fantastic because they shared a lot of laughter. This difficult upbringing, however, caused Tom Hanks to feel lonely and isolated as a child because he wasn’t properly taken care of.
2. Development of An Optimistic Life
Tom Hanks does not believe that his parents were the source of his upbeat and joyful outlook on life. He claims that he had to learn those talents on his own instead. He stated that the few times he’s been afraid of a new environment, he learned to get over it. He always thought that it could be bad for some time, but then everything would turn out to be okay. He also asserts that being an optimist does not imply that one is naive or unaware of the harsh truths of life; after all, he has had his share of those experiences.
Hanks’ life was changed by this positivity. By the time he was in high school, he had come to the conclusion that acting could be an actual professional route and that acting gave him a reason to leave the house. In one interview, he said that he had more fun than he could possibly imagine.
Tom Hanks wanted to have a family as quickly as possible after experiencing loneliness as a child. He married his ex-wife Samantha Lewes when he was 21 years old, and the couple quickly gave birth to a son and a daughter. Hanks admits that being married young was a positive thing, despite the difficulties he had as a young actor trying to get into the industry while raising two young children.
3. The Star’s Kick-Off
Hanks’ commitment to both his professional and personal lives rewarded him when he received what many consider to be his major break in the 1984 mermaid romantic comedy Splash. Following that, entertaining jobs literally came knocking at his door from filmmakers, and he even received an Oscar nomination for his part in the 1988 blockbuster Big.
However, during the 1990s, Hanks decided he wanted to pursue more tragic roles because he was sick of portraying silly characters. Although it was potentially dangerous, this career change ultimately paid off, as the actor became just the 2nd male actor ever to receive two straight Oscars. After that, Tom Hanks appeared in nearly 100 films, and his total box office receipts have topped $8 billion.
4. Genuineness And Believability
Most people experience a sense of authenticity when they see Tom Hanks perform. He’s, therefore, one of the most believable actors in Hollywood. His familiarity soothes his admirers, and his critics compare him to the legendary James Stewart. Hanks is considered America’s “normal guy” and has been named America’s dad since 2006, as stated by Manuel Betancourt of Esquire.
Hanks was never approached to perform as an actor with sex appeal. Hanks’ works never centre on sexual attraction and, instead, show sincere connections.
The more recent roles Hanks has played have contributed to his status as Hollywood’s nice guy and decent dad. He’s been seen as a middle-aged guy returning to college in Larry Crowne in 2011, as Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks in 2013, as the expert pilot Sully in 2016, and as Pinnochio’s father in 2022.
5. The Undeniable Chemistry With Meg Ryan
A few actors in Hollywood can compare to Tom Hanks’ relaxed attitude. He has repeatedly worked with a wide range of distinguished actors, but Meg Ryan is the only one with whom he has developed a strong chemistry. In Joe Versus The Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle, everyone’s favourite, You’ve Got Mail, and Ithaca, Hanks created a brilliant duo with Ryan.
Although its romantic characters don’t exchange words until the very end, Sleepless in Seattle manages to be a highly appealing film. However, the encounter on top of the Empire State Building was entirely worthwhile because of the excellent performances by Hanks and Ryan and the superb script by Nora Ephron.
You’ve Got Mail was greatly loved because it is a typical enemies-to-lovers relationship, just like Pride and Prejudice, which is a narrative that Kathleen alludes to throughout the movie. There is electricity between Joe and Kathleen that is apparent even when they are arguing. The conversation between Kathleen and Joe, though, is wonderfully lighthearted after they become friends. The two characters’ growing bond shines through, whether it is in person or over email.
6. He Can Master Any Role!
Tom Hanks is well-known for being a wonderful guy both inside and outside of the movies, but he is also adored and well-known for his versatility in playing all types of characters, even the darker ones. This is especially evident in his role in Road to Perdition and his portrayal of Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis.
Furthermore, we cannot talk about Tom Hanks’ roles and not mention Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, or Cast Away. These roles have proven that Tom Hanks is a truly gifted actor who can master any role, no matter how challenging it is. No one could have made it as heartbreaking as Tom Hanks when he was separated from “Wilson” in Cast Away. Don’t deny it; you cried your eyes out when Hanks lost a “ball” in the ocean!
7. Big Was Ironically His Big Break
Big was the film where Tom Hanks showed he was an acceptable Hollywood star. For his performance in the movie as a small boy trapped within an adult’s body, he gained his first Oscar nomination. Hanks demonstrated on the big screen how endearing and hilarious he could be while also adding a lot of heart to the project. The then-aspiring actor became a permanent resident of Hollywood as a result of Big‘s enormous commercial success and the positive reviews he got for his performance.
8. Accurate Historical Character Depiction
Some historical characters from real life are just too well-known to be accurately depicted in a film. Perhaps two of them are Walt Disney and Fred Rogers, both of whom Tom Hanks successfully portrayed in biography films.
It would have seemed impossible for anyone else to bring these great figures back to life. Despite the obvious differences between Disney and Rogers, Hanks somehow made it seem simple and acted as if he was meant to portray each character. Therefore, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood and Saving Mr Banks are must-see films.
9. He’s As Adorable As Most of His Characters
Some celebrities become wealthy and incredibly well-known, but they quickly originate an air of arrogance. But not Hanks. Off-screen, he is just as amiable as his characters. Tom frequently uses the city’s metro system to commute, or he can be seen taking selfies with fans upon their request. Having said that, it’s important to remember that the Philadelphia great star, who has spent the last 2.5 decades enjoying wealth and fame, could easily choose to avoid his fans and admirers, but he isn’t a snob.
10. Toy Story’s Woody
Tom Hanks’ voice is possibly even more recognisable than his image, which is among the most recognisable in cinema. The great actor established his reputation as one of the best voice performers to ever make the transition from live-action to animation with his adored portrayal of Woody in Disney’s Toy Story. With three additional parts, several spin-offs, and adaptations, Toy Story grew into a huge success.
There’s no doubt that Tom Hanks is amongst the most talented, adored actors of all time, thanks to his charisma, humbleness, and dedication to his career. We cannot get enough of the actor, and we’re always waiting and excited for his upcoming projects. Thank you, Tom Hanks, for entertaining us for all these years. You’re truly a legend!