Tom Hanks: Hollywood's Mr Nice Guy (2022) Movie Script

The Academy Awards, March 1995.
Inside the Shrine Auditorium,
the nominees are being read out
for Best Actor.
Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.
If 38-year-old Tom Hanks wins,
then he will become the first man
to take two in a row
in over 5O years.
The Oscar goes to...
Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.
It was a remarkable achievement,
acknowledged with trademark grace
and humility.
Thank you.
God bless you in this room
and God bless you
all around the world.
Victory confirmed Hanks
as the foremost star of our times.
An actor with the Midas touch,
whose films have earned
an extraordinary $1O billion,
and who is near universally admired
as the nice guy
who came first.
Tom is one of the nicest people
I have ever had
the pleasure to work with.
I always feel comfortable
around him
and I feel like
I 'm just with a friend.
gets just such a warm - hearted,
fun, interesting guy.
In this film, we explore
the surprising story of Tom Hanks,
a man whose dysfunctional childhood
left him isolated and lonely.
He had sort of an itinerant
childhood from parent to parent.
Destined to repeat
his parents' mistakes...
Things just were falling apart
between him and his first wife.
But who escaped his past
with comedy,
becoming one of the Eighties'
most lovable stars...
before tapping into his inner
to create some of the most
memorable movie characters of all.
He had, like, tears running down.
He said,
"You can't fake that, Paulie."
This is the story of Tom Hanks,
Hollywood's most acclaimed,
most successful,
most loved ordinary guy.
Tom was born in Concord
in Northern California in 1956,
to parents Amos and janet.
From the start,
it was a difficult childhood.
A lot of people would imagine that
Tom Hanks would have
a kind of very middle-class, normal,
ordinary background, but that's
quite the opposite, actually.
His parents split up
when he was still quite young,
and his dad went on to marry
twice more.
In fact, between them,
his parents married seven times.
Hanks' father was also carrying
the trauma of a devastating event
in his own childhood.
Tom recounted his dad's story
in a 2O2O podcast interview.
He happened to witness the murder
of his father in a fight.
He was eight or nine
or ten years old
and a hired hand killed his father.
And the scars were still visible
to young Tom, as he revealed
in the same podcast conversation.
It ruined him.
It robbed him of a carefree life.
It robbed him of
a sense of fairness in the world.
It was this traumatised man
who would raise Tom,
and not his mother, janet.
Once his parents split up,
he went off with his father,
as did his brother and sister,
which is quite unusual.
Dad then remarried in Reno
to a lady who herself
had five children.
Tom opened up about
his tumultuous childhood
during his revealing
2O2O podcast interview.
It was wild. I mean, everything
conceivable happened there.
A lot of fights, a lot of arguments.
It was crazy, man.
And the turmoil had
a profound effect on young Tom,
as he acknowledged
during the same podcast.
There was a degree of loneliness.
Kind of like fell through the cracks
I didn't really have adults,
per se,
that were taking care of me.
Must have been incredibly
difficult for him as a kid.
I magine it, you're ten years old,
you've suddenly got a new mother.
You have all these new step-brothers
and sisters.
And at one time
there was eight of them
living in a basement bedroom,
one room,
and they had curtains
dividing the spaces.
And these are people
he didn't know before.
But he had that great advantage when
you're doing that kind of thing,
and that was a sense of humour,
he was funny, he was the funny kid.
I 've always been like a funny guy
in class, in all honesty.
It was probably
second grade or something like that
in which, you know, I heard
my older brother say something
and then I said it in class
and people laughed.
There are some people
who are funny in this world,
and I guess I 'm one of them,
more or less.
In his teens, this funny
but lonely boy
discovered the perfect outlet
for funny, lonely people.
When I was in school,
I ended up going to the theatre
around the San Francisco Bay area
because I couldn't get anybody
to go with me.
And seeing the, you know,
great plays and, you know,
great theatres, I had wanted to work
in that arena.
Aged 2O,
Hanks was studying theatre arts
at nearby Sacramento
State University.
There, he met fellow student Susan
Dillingham and they started dating.
And then they got some news
that really, really
knocked them for six,
in that Susan was pregnant
and they were both 2o years old.
Suddenly, thoughts of family,
thoughts of home,
thoughts of seitling down.
These weren't part of his life's
plan, but there you have it.
Life got really real.
Hanks quit college
for his first theatre job.
He would be an acting intern
at the Great Lakes
Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland.
Although he had to leave
his pregnant partner in California,
the pressure of impending fatherhood
didn't show to his fellow interns.
So we had our first meeting,
and all the interns were gathered
there, didn't know a soul.
We were all a liitle nervous,
you know, meeting new people.
And there's a guy in a corner
just acting a liitle goofier
and being a liitle louder
than the rest of us.
And I thought, "Who is this guy?"
We interns would sit around
late into the night.
It would invariably end up with
Tom and Bert Goldstein...
Tom and Bert, all the time.
They would do Steve Martin routines
from Saturday N ight Live.
Oh, yeah, all the time.
And I didnit have a TV in college,
you know, so I didnit know
Steve Martin,
and no offence to Steve,
but when I did finally see
Steve Martin, I was disappointed
because Tom was so much funnier.
And it wasn't long before
Hanks' charisma made an impact
onstage too.
We just gradually watched him
become beiter and beiter.
To go from an intern
to the leading young actor of
a festival
in literally... one season later
is remarkable.
In 1978, the brilliant young actor
moved to America's theatre capital,
New York City.
He was soon joined by Susan, now his
wife, and their young son, Colin.
that gave Hanks focus,
as he would later reveal
on Desert Island Discs.
Having a kid at 21 was the greatest
thing that ever happened
because I didn't smoke pot.
You know, I didn't go into drugs.
I was not a party boy.
I didn't drink too much.
I went to bed at
ten minutes after ten.
But early nights
do not guarantee success.
I went to New York
almost the exact same time he did.
We lived just blocks away
from each other.
And he was a young father
at the time,
so he had a lot more pressure on him
to make money.
They were a young couple
with a young kid
in a very precarious profession,
and it took its toll.
It's scary.
You're up against a lot.
You go to your first audition
and there's 5o guys there
that look like you.
You've waited three hours to get in.
The city was expensive.
We were all poor, we had...
And I mean that, you know,
we were living on $75 a week
on unemployment.
I went to visit Tom at his apartment
and he said,
"Would you like something to eat?"
And he opened the cupboards
and there was a box of saltine
crackers and some peanut buiter.
And that's all that was in there.
Because, you know, he was starving
and he had a kid.
By the summer of 198O,
Hanks's family were penniless
and his career was going nowhere.
Tom needed a break and fast.
New York, 198O.
23-year-old actor Tom Hanks
is struggling to put food on the
table for his young wife and son.
So Tom was doing
all these auditions,
the usual rounds of
relentless daily slog
of turning up at these studios
and walking away downhearted.
But one day, as it sometimes does,
he got the breakthrough.
And I remember he called me,
he said,
"I 'm flying to LA to test for
a pilot." And I said, "Oh, great."
And, you know, then he came back
and I guess a couple of weeks later,
he said, " I got it. I 'm moving."
And I was disappointed
that he was leaving New York.
Tom had landed his first TV role
in a sitcom called Bosom Buddies,
about two men who disguise
themselves as women to live
in the only place they can afford -
a women's only hotel.
It wasn't really a conscious
decision more than anything else,
you know, you find yourself in
a position where I had a family
and I had a shrinking bank account
and I had rent.
And so when the opportunity
came up to do TV,
I wasn't about to pass it up.
Tom was particularly good
at just about everything.
He was very good physically.
He was really good verbally.
Tom's comic skills were evident
during verbal sparring
with a disgruntled waitress
played by his wife, Susan,
in a cameo.
What's going on here?
Uh... This is a restaurant.
We're going to eat.
You have to eat our food.
We make a bigger profit that way.
Oh, all right.
Bring us
a couple of root beers, please.
There's a $5 minimum.
All right. Bring us ten root beers.
The first season was a moderate
success, but it wasn't to last.
We got a back order
for six more shows.
There was a liitle celebration
on stage and Tom said,
"Oh, it's all gravy."
You know, he was very grateful
to have a few more shows to do.
And then it got cancelled.
Hanks was unemployed again,
and more starring roles
proved hard to come by.
So he took whatever bit parts
he could find.
He did do a very small part
in Happy Days...
Sunday, Monday, Happy Days...
which was a very popular show
at the time
in which Ron Howard, then an actor,
was one of the stars.
Tom spent the next year
guest starring in sitcoms,
keeping his head above water.
But only just.
His old Happy Days co-star
Ron Howard would change everything.
In 1983,
he started casting for a film
he would direct called Splash.
Michael Keaton, Burt Reynolds,
Chevy Chase.
Some big stars of the time
initially were up for the part,
but turned it down.
But Ron Howard just remembered Tom,
and he remembered the energy
he brought to the part
in Happy Days.
Ron Howard felt that he was right.
Well, we try given this script.
It just sounded like a... you know,
a fun film to work on, you know,
a kind of a fantasy kind of film.
And looking forward to doing it.
Hanks would star opposite
Daryl Hannah
and the up-and-coming comedian,
john Candy.
The pair proved
a perfect double act.
Give me a kiss. Oh, Freddie...
Give your older brother a kiss.
What's the maiter, you too big?
Come here!
I love this guy's head. Hey, Curly.
Here's a buck. Go watch my car.
But it was Hanks' love
for mermaid Daryl Hannah
that captivated audiences.
Hi. Hi!
This big secret
you've been keeping from me.
Is it that you're a mermaid
or is there something else?
No, that's it.
Splash represented the beginning,
for me, of seeing Tomts work
begin to deepen
and that sort of softness
came through, that tenderness.
I was blown away by it
because he was so good,
and now he had made this transition
from television to the movies,
which a lot of actors
are not able to do.
From the first laugh,
critics were hooked.
My name is...
Splash is screamingly funny, it
says Sneak Previewts Jeffrey Lyons.
Newsweek calls it a romantic comedy
that is truly romantic
and truly comic.
Splash was the surprise hit of 1984,
earning $7O million
at the box office.
You know, it comes out
and is this thing
that almost enters
into the national consciousness.
Who knew? All we knew that we were
going to try to do this thing
as uniquely and differently as
we can, and I was just thrilled
out of my socks to once again
have a job as an actor
where a lot was going to be demanded
of me over a long period of time.
I mean, I was, you know, I was
thrilled, but at the same time,
I was scared because, you know,
who knows what was going to happen?
As Tom's career took off,
his marriage was falling apart.
It was difficult for Tom,
because he is a devoted family guy
and really loves his kids.
And I know it was hard for him
that things just were falling apart
between him and his first wife.
Suddenly, his own children
had a broken family.
Two parents going different ways,
and he knew how that felt.
So I think
that was especially tough.
Hanks himseff spoke candidly
about the break-up
during a 2O2O podcast interview.
Horribly painful time, fraught
with emotion and bad feelings.
Couldn't be a worse father, and
I couldn't be a worse human being.
I remember all those feelings of,
I had cursed innocent beings
with my own failings.
Despite the turmoil at home,
Hanks' career went from
strength to strength.
He followed Splash with
a cluster of hit comedies,
including Bachelor Party
and Dragnet.
I found the snake!
Tom Hanks, he became a type.
If you had a romantic comedy,
a rom-com,
he'd be the guy.
He could pull off
kind of goofy comedies
and make them
slightly beiter than they were.
And on one of these goofy movies,
he would meet someone very special,
thanks to the casting decisions
of director Nicholas Meyer.
I kept interviewing
and re-interviewing and auditioning
actress after actress,
known and not known.
This went on for weeks.
And at one point I had a friend.
She said, "Well, you should take
a look at my friend Rita Wilson."
"She might fill the bill."
She sent in Rita, who astonished me.
And I said to Tom, "You know,
you're going to love her."
Which he then proceeded to do.
Would you, um... like to come inside?
No, I don't think so. Not tonight.
You see, if...
If I ...if I go in there,
I 'm going to be tempted
to make a pass at you and...
that's not what you want.
It isn't? No, it isn't.
I like you very much, Beth.
I don't think I was really paying
aitention to what Tom and Rita
were doing in their personal lives.
I was only paying aitention
to what was going on in the frame.
And in that sense, probably
everybody knew what was going on
except me.
I was just thinking,
"Oh, they're good, they're good."
"This really looks like
they're falling in love."
Goodnight. Goodnight.
3O years later,
on Desert Island Discs,
Hanks recalled
his dawning realisation
that Rita answered a long-felt need.
Oh, she gets it.
Oh, guess what?
I don't think I 'm ever
going to be lonely any more.
You know that song, "And
we'll never be lonely any more"?
That's what I felt
when I met my wife.
Tom and Rita married in 1988.
And in that same year,
his star would rise further
thanks to a liitle movie called Big,
about a 12-year-old boy
who dreams of becoming an adult.
I wish I were big.
And Hanks wanted his old theatre
friend, Bert Goldstein, to join him.
Out of the blue, I get a call
from casting,
and the woman says,
"Tom Hanks has recommended you
for a role in Big."
"Would you like to come in
and test for it?"
And I said, "Yeah, sure, why not?"
And I got it, and I was blown away
by his generosity at that point.
Now I got to watch him work
in front of the camera
and how he took
the subtleties of humour,
and it was such a gift
to be able to watch that.
I mean, one of the great iconic
scenes was in the toy store
with the piano, and theytre
all playing Chopsticks and,
you know, thaits ingrained
in peoplets memories of the film.
Big would prove the perfect vehicle
for Tom's infectious enthusiasm
and remarkable ability to improvise,
developed since childhood.
It was the New Year's Eve
or the party scene,
New Year's Eve party scene.
I just sort of snuck into a corner
and was watching him.
The wardrobe he was wearing
was preity, like, ridiculous.
Yes, iits a whole new exercise
for your thighs, iits true...
I think he probably walked around
the table, you know, and maybe
in his own mind was trying to
figure out what he would...
what he would do,
what he'd touch and things.
So we really weren't sure
what was going to happen.
And then as it happened,
it was just very funny.
He starts experimenting,
and it becomes very much
the Tom Hanks that I knew, you know,
because I 'd seen this guy stand up
on stage with a wooden spoon
and entertain people
for 25 minutes improvising.
And I said,
"What is going to happen here?"
And as he walks through
and what he's doing,
and especially picking up
the liitle corn
and, you know, eating it
like a corn on the cob...
the whole crew is just, you know,
it was like...
You know,
just trying not to laugh out loud.
Hanks's performance was loved by
crew, critics and audiences.
Big quickly became one of the
box office hits of 1988
and earned Tom
his first Oscar nomination.
But Hanks's Hollywood roller-coaster
was far from over.
As the '9Os dawned, Tom was about
to experience his greatest low.
Bonfire Of The Vanities became
a symbol of everything
that was wrong with Hollywood.
And his most emotional high.
He looked over at me and he had,
like, tears running down.
He said,
itYou canit fake that, Paulie. it
By the late 198Os, Big had taken
Tom Hanks to the top.
But once there,
he seemed unsure what to do next.
It's always hard to follow up
a success like Big
and he didn't, really.
There were a bunch of films
that were, you know, OK.
I think perhaps just as importantly,
he didn't particularly
love them either,
and he couldn't really see
where his career was going.
He was making money,
living a very nice lifestyle.
Happy with Rita.
But I think he needed more.
After starring opposite a dog
in Turner and Hooch,
Hanks got wind of
a more sophisticated part.
Peter Guber, who was a very big -time
Hollywood producer at that time,
had bought the rights to The Bonfire
Of The Vanities, the Tom Wolfe book
that was THE big sensation
of the 1980's.
And they were looking
for somebody to play Sherman McCoy.
gets one of those protagonists
that you love to hate.
Ugh, gets horrible.
The producer at that time decided
the only way that Warner Brothers
could make this movie was
to have Sherman McCoy be bad,
but also not so bad.
And he thought in his mind
the only person
who could play that role
was Tom Hanks.
I think he saw this movie
as a real opportunity...
. .to show that he had the gravitas.
Tom signed up to play
a despicable banker
in the prestige project of the year,
and quickly regreited it.
Bonfire Of The Vanities,
a very difficult film to work on.
I think the critics had an idea
of who that person should be.
Not sort of Mr Everyman.
And so I think
he probably was miscast in the role.
No-one could resist him,
not his mistress...
This could be the best sex
I tve had in a long time.
Not even his dog.
Iits raining and gets not happy
about it, Mr McCoy.
Neither am I, Bill.
Bonfire Of The Vanities
was declared to be the biggest flop
of the decade.
Became a symbol of everything
that was wrong with Hollywood.
Bonfire cost nearly $5O million
and made less than $16 million
at the box office.
Tom's aitempt to rebrand himseff
had backfired catastrophically.
He had that question about
where to go from there.
And many stars have seen their
star rise and then disappear,
never to be seen again.
So I think at that time,
he perhaps took a very wise decision
and stepped back and kind of
had a relook at where he was.
Hanks sat down with his agent
and manager,
as he revealed on a chat show
in 2O13.
I was like 36 years old
and I just said,
"You know, you make a sort of movie
in your 2os and early 3os
"and you just can't...
You've got to stop doing it." Right.
And so I sat down with my crack team
of showbusiness expert
and he said,
"So, what do you think?"
I said,
"You know, I 'm 36 and I just..."
"I think I got to
stop playing pussies."
And really, it was about
playing men instead of boys.
Men who understood
biiter compromise.
I think at that point,
he was done with all that.
He wanted something to touch people,
to touch him.
He wanted to play real people.
After a year-long break,
Tom chose for his comeback
A League Of Their Own,
the story of a women's baseball team
and their cantankerous male coach.
Well, he played J immy Dugan,
a kind of misogynistic alcoholic,
down on his luck
baseball manager. If you really got
into that world,
it's not really very preity.
It was a chance to be
enjoyably mean,
especially when one of his team
began to cry.
He was confounded by, one,
that he's having to coach women,
two, that here's a woman crying.
This is baseball.
Nobody cries in baseball.
What are you talking about?!
Are you crying?
Are you crying?
Are you crying?!
There's no crying!
There's no crying in baseball!
Why donit you leave her alone,
J immy? Oh, you zip it, Doris!
Rogers Hornsby was my manager,
and he called me
a talking pile of pig shit.
And that was when my parents drove
all the way down from Michigan
to see me play the game.
And did I cry? No, no... No!
No! And you know why?
No. Because there's no crying
in baseball.
Even though this guy is a real...
is a real jerk,
you're... you're...
You don't hate him.
You're still kind of sympathetic
to him.
And eventually you really like him
because you see why he is
the way he is.
Tom's performance
won widespread acclaim
and helped the movie gross
over $1OO million.
It also gave Hanks the confidence to
leap into serious drama territory,
signing up for the first big
Hollywood movie addressing AI DS.
Tom Hanks plays a lawyer,
a gay man who has AI DS
and who is fired
because his bosses realise,
you know, what he's suffering from
and what his illness is,
and he sues for discrimination.
Howtd they find out
you had the AI DS?
One of the partners noticed
a lesion on my forehead.
This was still a time
when the baitle to get governments
around the world to take the AI DS
crisis seriously,
you know,
was still really in motion.
I mean, we were losing people
in our industry.
People were dying
that we worked with every day.
Can you see the lesions
on your chest in this mirror?
Thank you.
It was a real shift of gear
for Tom Hanks
because he had always been seen
as a comedy actor
and this one was dead straight,
very dramatic, so it forced people
to see him in a new light.
As word spread, the praise for
Tom's performance grew,
culminating in his second
Oscar nomination.
Tom Hanks in Philadelphia.
With Rita by his side and applauded
by the cream of Hollywood,
37-year-old Tom Hanks had reached
the pinnacle of his profession.
He had also completely
reinvented himseff,
puiting his more zany roles
of the '8Os behind him,
which made his next career choice
somewhat surprising.
If he had gone straight from Big
to Forrest Gump,
you might have kind of understood
the progression there.
To go from Philadelphia
to Forrest Gump
feels like a bizarre change.
The idea that this man with, you
know, at best learning difficulties
is present at key moments
throughout US history
for a sort of, what,
2o-3o-year period,
it's not something that anyone saw
being as big a hit.
South Carolina, 1993.
Filming is about to start on
Forrest Gump,
but there is a big problem.
No-one can work out how this
unusual character should speak,
and it's up to dialect coach
jessica Drake to figure it out.
I think he was due to arrive,
like, two days later
and we were going to have
very, very liitle time.
So I spoke to Bob, the director,
Bob Zemeckis,
and said,
"You know, what do you want?"
And he said,
"Well, I want a big Alabama accent."
So I got on the phone and I called
Winston Groom,
who is the author of the novel upon
which the script is based.
So I said, " Do you have anybody
you could suggest to me"
"that I might be able to get on the
phone and would let me record them?"
And he said, "Oh yeah,
I 've got my friend J imbo."
"He's one of the people I based
the idea for the character on."
You know, she called me and told
me that I td been recommended
for her to talk to you about,
you know, my accent,
she wanted to interview
some conversations with me.
And I said, sure.
And so after the film,
everybody wanted to make me out
to be the real Forrest Gump.
Jessica and Hanks
took j imbo's voice,
then added elements of speech used
by the actor playing young Forrest.
The result was
a unique speaking voice.
I think the night before
we started shooting,
I started to really wonder.
I mean, people are going to
love this or hate it,
and there will not be
a middle ground.
The first day we shot was the day
that Forrest goes to Bubba's grave.
And of course, I paid my respect
to Bubba himself.
Hey, Bubba, it's me, Forrest Gump.
I remembered everything you said.
And I got it all figured out.
I really was paying no aitention
to Tom at that point.
I just... I was just staring at
the crew and watching their faces.
I 'm taking the $24,562 and 47 cents
that I got...
Who kind of fall
and react like...
"Oh, my God,
is he going to sound like THAT?"
And I just thought, are we going
to get away with this?
Well, that's left after
a new haircut and a new suit
and took Mama out
to a real fancy dinner...
But I have to say, as soon
as we broke that first setup...
the whole crew was imitating him.
And they all started talking
that way.
And I thought, OK, this is good,
this will work.
Forrest Gump had a voice,
but the movie had a new problem.
I get a call from one of
the production people and they said,
it Paulie, youtve got to go pick
Tom up in a half-hour. it
So I bring them,
I said, itWhere we going? it
They had an address.
A lot of cars there.
They were...
He was in there two, three hours.
So he came back out and he was
quiet, even on the way home.
And he told me, he says the studio
was going to
pull the plug on the movie.
I go, what?
He said...
We decided, Zemeckis, him,
that we would forfeit our fees,
that we believed in this movie
so much that we would take back end
or whatever they did.
By ploughing their fees
into the movie,
Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis
saved Forrest Gump.
But Tom still needed to deliver
a winning performance.
And there were no beiter example
than his final graveside scene.
I wept when I read the leiter
he reads to Jenny at the grave
at the end of the movie,
the first time I read the script.
And I also cried like a baby
when we shot it.
I had you placed here
under our tree.
And I had that house of your
father's bulldozed to the ground.
always said
dying was a part of life.
I sure wish it wasn't.
I must say the rest of the crew
thought I was kind of a freak,
but I...
I just found it so moving.
He wrote you a leiter.
And he says I can't read it.
So I 'll just...
I 'll just leave it here for you.
They did a few takes
and he jumped in the car
and he put his sunglasses on.
He looked over at me and he had,
like, tears running down.
And he said,
itYou canit fake that, Paulie. it
Like that.
It was a very emotional thing.
I miss you, Jenny.
If there's anything you need,
I won't be far away.
Tom's gamble on this unusual
and poignant film paid off.
Forgoing his fee in place
of a share of turnover
earned him a reported $3O million.
There was also the small maiter
of a second consecutive Oscar.
The Oscar goes to...
Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.
Sharing the moment again
with his wife, Rita,
Tom had become the first man
since Spencer Tracy
to win back-to-back Oscars,
a fact not lost on his peers
as they celebrated his achievement
on cinema's biggest stage.
Tom was now the most powerful actor
in Hollywood.
Thank you.
God bless you in this room,
and God bless you
all around the world.
But what would the guy
who could do anything do next?
By 1994, 38-year-old Tom Hanks
had come a long way
from his lonely,
difficult upbringing.
He was wildly successful,
universally loved and building
a happy family life
with wife Rita and young son Chet.
But he remained profoundly
influenced by his childhood.
He spent a lot of time on his own.
A lot of time watching TV.
It kind of raised him in a way,
as a ten-year-old boy
siiting in the dark,
watching space missions
at a time when the world was kind of
caught up in that kind of stuff.
Hanks grew up idolising
the astronauts, you know,
just fascinated with the space race
and seeing these guys as just
the pinnacle of human achievement.
With his pick of any role,
Hanks chose to become an astronaut.
I couldn't wait for that first time
I got to put on everything,
the gloves and the air conditioning
unit and the helmet.
It was... it was
a real dream come true.
Tom would play Captain j im Lovell
of the near disastrous
Apollo 13 mission...
and undergo the same experience
as his heroes
by filming on
Nasa's own training jet.
The Vomit Comet,
if I remember correct,
they would go up,
straight up in the air.
Theytd have cameramen and everything
and the astronauts.
And then they wanted it so genuine
that when they turned around
to come down,
they would get maybe a minute or two
at the time of weightlessness.
What is actually happening
once we start doing this in flight,
we're alternating between zero
a simulated zero gravity condition
and two G's.
But a lot of people threw up.
He liked it,
because the first thing I asked him
when he came back was, it How was it? it
itOh, it he says,
it I was like a liitle kid, it he said.
it I wish we could have did it more. it
As with many Tom Hanks films,
there's some great lines.
"Houston, we have a problem."
I mean, it's one of those lines
that comes... Any crisis anywhere,
it's become part of the language.
You don't need a spacecraft
blowing up around you.
Hey, wetve got a problem here.
What did you do?
Nothing, I stirred the tanks.
Whoa! Hey...
Uh, this is Houston.
Say again, please?
Houston, we have a problem.
I think Tom canit resist
a character who is
a guy who wants to do his job
really well.
In doing that job, there are
extraordinary circumstances.
Within those extraordinary
he chooses to step up.
Apollo13 took off, soaring to
the top of the box office,
with critics praising Hanks's
uiterly believable j im Lovell.
He's on top of the world
at the box office with Apollo 13.
And it kind of seems like
he can do anything
and in particular, compared with
some of the other comic stars
of the 198os,
you know, a lot of them
had faded into smaller movies,
whereas Tom Hanks
had this whole second act.
With Apollo13,
Tom had fuffilled
his childhood fantasy.
Now with three kids of his own
and a fourth on the way,
he decided to make a film
that they might like.
The opportunity came
with an offer to voice
the first entirely computer-animated
feature length film, Toy Story.
To convince Tom to take part,
the studio took dialogue from Turner
and Hooch and then animated it
with Tom's character, Woody.
Not the car! No, you stupid dog!
And they brought it in
and they played it for Tom.
And I always watch these guys
while they're watching the film
on the monitor and he's just like...
You know, mind is blown.
He's like...
"Oh, my...! No! Wow!"
He was just wowed beyond wow.
It fit, you know. If I had come in
and seen something
that didn't make
quite as much sense,
I don't know if I 'd be doing
the movie, but I saw...
I saw Woody
and he talked like I did.
So it all made perfect sense.
Tom signed up for
a fraction of his usual fee,
but he found the performance
harder than anticipated.
Tom would do the voice first.
And each line he'd give
a thousand times.
I would go out and say, "Tom, how
are you doing? You need more water?"
He goes, " I think Ineed another
set of headphones, basically."
Because the headphones
were literally dripping, as...
you can believe,
because he just worked up a sweat
from working so hard.
One scene in particular
needed the hardest work of all.
Woodyts aitempts to convince Buzz
that he is a toy.
And iits one of the great freak-out
scenes in cinema history.
It really is.
You are a toy!
You aren't the real Buzz Lightyear.
You're an...
You're an action figure.
You are a child's plaything.
You are a sad, strange liitle man
and you have my pity.
Woody and Buzz just caught
peoplets imagination.
So the Toy Story franchise
since then
has only gone from
strength to strength.
Toy Story 2 is one of the
greatest sequels of all time.
I would absolutely put it up there
with The Godfather Part I I.
Toy Story 3 passed $1 billion,
and Toy Story 4
has been even more successful.
This final instalment concluded 24
years of ground-breaking animation.
Tom flips over the script and goes,
" Is this the last line?"
I mean, the stage got quiet.
And Tom was sort of like,
"I can't believe
this is the last line"
"we're doing for
the Toy Story series."
And so he did the last line
and it was great.
And Tom said,
"Well, we've got to get a picture!"
And so... So I was in the back
going, "Tom, get out here!"
And, you know, bring everybody
who's back there.
So we got this great shot,
and it was from Tom's phone.
We were a part of some
kind of like masterpiece,
some sort of like benchmark in the
and in the art of animation.
And we knew it.
And you think, well, not...
Hey, we did that OK.
Glad I was a part of that.
For the makers of Toy Story,
the impact was profound.
We'd have a generation lost
without those Toy Story movies.
I really do, because all our kids
and grandkids,
they watch those things
all the time.
And Hanks himseff, who had made the
film first for his own children,
later witnessed its impact on his
three-year-old granddaughter -
as he recounted in an interview
in 2O19.
I got choked up watching her,
because she did everything
you would want an audience
member to do.
"Oh, no!"
"Oh, dear me!"
She did everything you would want.
By 1998, Tom was in the middle
of a remarkable golden run.
The last six movies he'd starred in
had all grossed over $1OO million,
and he'd worked with some
of the best in the business.
But he'd never worked
with Steven Spielberg.
That would change on World War l l
epic Saving Private Ryan,
when Spielberg saw him
as the perfect man for the job.
Oh, Inever even thought about
household names, I don't think ever
about household names. I don't think
of Tom Hanks as a household name,
I think of Tom Hanks as one of the
best American actors we've got.
The first time I ever met Tom was
when I was called into
the Playtone offices
and told that he and
Steven Spielberg
were about to do a World War I I
movie and wanted me to work on it.
But when Steven and Tom told me
what they had planned,
in other words, to restage a portion
of the Omaha Beach assault on D-Day,
I knew I was in the presence of
film - makers that had the ability
to do something like that without a
bunch of cheesecake and nonsense.
Before filming, Spielberg
sent his would-be soldiers
on an army boot camp led by military
adviser Captain Dale Dye.
Part of my desire was to take the
actors and to completely
cut them off from modern life,
make them live in holes,
make them dig those holes,
only eat once a day, wear their
bodies out so that I tve got
a clean slate, so that I tve got a
dry sponge, and then I can pour
on the knowledge.
And of course, it being England,
weather turned to absolute crapola
and it was miserable out there.
It was cold and it was rainy,
and the mud was up to our buits,
and I still wanted to
continue training.
I insisted on continuing training.
Thaits what soldiers do.
They live through that kind of crap.
Well, a few,
and I emphasise that word,
a few of the people who were
in training really said,
itYou know, wetve had enough.
We donit need this. we try actors. it
And Tom Hanks stepped right up
as Captain Miller,
and he said to them, he said,
itGents, we try going to get one shot
at doing the right thing.
I understand you are cold.
I understand you are miserable.
I understand you are beginning to
think you are not really actors,
that you are soldiers.
it But I think, I think there is
a reason we try here doing this
I stand I think we should focus
on that reason.
I stand that reason is it's time to
shine some bright light -
It not only tell a great story,
a great dramatic story -
but shine some great, long overdue
light on the men and women
who made the sacrifice in World War II.
Tom's intervention ended the mutiny
and underlined his perfect casting
as Captain Miller.
There's no-one in Hollywood who's
going to make you care more
about Captain Miller than Tom Hanks.
It's this idea of the ordinary man
put in the extraordinary
circumstance of storming
Omaha Beach.
We look at his performance
and say, it Boy, I wonder
if I could be that guy. I wonder
if I could step up and do that.
And he inspires that wonderment.
Hanks's fascination with real
people tested to extremes
was about to reach its natural
conclusion with a series
of remarkable performances
as real-life heroes.
I could see just the terror and
the fear in his eyes, and that's
basically, I 'm sure what
I looked like initially
when they entered the bridge
with the AK-47.
Throughout the 199Os, roles
in Apollo 13, Toy Story
and Saving Private Ryan established
Tom Hanks as a very particular type
of American hero -
lovable, reliable, relatable.
He is America's dad.
We recognise in him
the father that we love.
I certainly recognise in Tom
my own father and the ability
to be funny, to be passionate,
to be loving, to be strict.
The boy with a distant father had
grown up to be America's dad,
but his memories of childhood
loneliness would come in handy
for his most demanding role to date
in Cast Away.
It's a very interesting film,
because it is just him on screen
for 95ofo of the running time.
He washes up on an island,
and that's it
for the next several years.
He commiited to this role so hard,
and he really put himself through it
to play this as well as he does.
The island we shot on
for the desert island was
literally a desert island.
There was no running water on it.
I felt the heat a lot,
and so did Tom.
He remarked one day about
the toilet arrangements to me
and said he went to the same hole
in the ground as I did.
So, that was reassuring, he wasnit
geiting any Hollywood treatment, um,
and we were all in it together.
In this 2O2O podcast interview,
Hanks talked about the challenge
of being the only cast member
on a deserted island.
There's literally two close-ups
of Wilson the volleyball
in the movie, and that's it.
All the rest of the time it was me.
I had no other actor to bounce
anything off.
There was just this odd kind
of like silent animation
inside my head that was going on.
He could manage his role
very internally, and not
have it affect everybody around him
that he had the weight of a huge
blockbuster on his shoulders.
Tom carries the movie, and those
scenes isolated on the island
he must have had to draw on a lot.
I watch that movie in awe,
and I asked him about Cast Away.
He's a very humble guy.
He goes, "Well, you know, there are
1oo other people around",
"and there was crew and there are
I said, "You held the screen
for 45 minutes."
What an achievement, what
an acting achievement that was.
You have to be invested
in his survival
and you have to be able to know
what he's thinking,
why he's doing what he's doing.
And somehow he makes
you care desperately
about Wilson as well as himself.
I mean, that's astonishing.
But genuinely,
one of the most emotional
moments of the film
is when Wilson is lost at sea,
and we're desperately worried
for the fate of a completely
inanimate volleyball.
Who else could do that?
I really don't know.
I 'm sorry!
I 'm sorry, Wilson!
Wilson, I 'm sorry.
I 'm sorry!
I can't...
By the early 2OOOs, Tom
was on an unprecedented
decade-long golden run.
11 commercial and critical hits
in a row, with Tom increasingly
specialising in everyday heroes.
And as he entered his 5Os, Tom
has found himseff drawn ever
more frequently to one particular
type of role.
As he's goiten older,
Tom Hanks has played more and more
kind of real-life figures, because
there's only so far you can go maybe
in the average movie script,
and this gives him something
much more, you know, real
to draw on.
In many cases, it allows him
to meet these people.
That probably just feeds
off his desire to know
more about people and who people
are and what makes them special
and what makes them courageous
or talented or brilliant.
One of Hanks's finest real-life
roles would retell the story
of pirates hijacking a cargo ship
captained by Richard Phillips.
The first time that I had met Tom
he was supposed to come up
to my house right here
where we are now.
gets a liitle bit of a time thief.
He was a liitle late and I was
geiting into this basketball game.
Well, when he finally came to the
door he was about a half hour late.
He comes to the door, says,
it H I, I tm Tom Hanks,
and I just said, it Hey, I tll be with
you in a few minutes,
the gamets got three more
minutes to go. it
So, after the basketball
game, we just talked.
I donit know what he was doing when
he was here, but I was talking
with a friend just a liitle
while ago, and she told me,
he was picking up your
mannerisms in his accent,
you know, because she would say,
itOh, yeah, you push your glasses
itup a lot, and he did that
in the movie.
I said, itWow, Inever noticed that.
Hanks's dedication to realism was
matched by director Paul Greengrass.
He took the decision to cast
complete newcomers to play
the film's Somali pirates.
For Captain Phillips, I honestly
did not have any acting experience.
I didn't have no experience,
I mean, Inever acted before,
so, yeah, it was my first time.
Greengrass then insisted that
the actors had no contact
with the film star until
their fateful meeting
on the ship's bridge.
They said, "You guys are nice and
he's nice, so if you guys"
"meet each other, then..." The
chemistry's going wrong, you know?
The movie's success would
ride on what happened next.
We got a problem.
We pushed the ship too hard.
we try off the grid.
That means the computerts
now offline. Captain.
The shipts broken. Captain.
No-one get hurt if you don't
play no game.
The ship is broken.
We had to go... Nobody gets hurt.
Look at me. Sure.
Look at me. Sure.
I 'm the captain now.
It wasn't a great feeling, you know,
the first time we meet Tom Hanks
and we pointed a gun at him
and yelling at him in a language
he can't understand.
It was chaotic, to be honest.
I could see just the terror and
the fear in his eyes,
but I also could see through
his eyes, and you could almost see
him thinking in the back of his
mind, trying to figure out ways
to get out of that. And thaits
basically, I tm sure
what I looked like initially
when they entered the bridge
with the AK-47.
He just makes it so easy.
He'd been doing it for a long time,
so it just takes the pressure off.
So, he's a nice guy who, you know,
talked to you,
a down-to-Earth person,
so that make it easy for us.
Hanks's improv skills
would be tested further.
Looking for a more emotional
ending to the film,
director Greengrass invented
an entirely new scene,
which Hanks had to nail
with zero preparation.
He's been rescued and the medical
team is asking him some questions
about his health and how he's doing,
and he just breaks down.
Just all the emotion
that he's been holding in
through this experience,
including the death of his captors,
just sort of, in a brief
period of time,
And it just takes your breath away.
I 'm Chief O' Brien, I 'll be your
Corpsman today, OK?
Can you please tell me
what's going on?
Can you talk?
Can you tell me what's going on?
I tm OK. Are you OK?
Because you don't look OK.
Are you in any pain right now?
Are you in any pain right now? Er...
Right there on your side?
OK, let me see it really quick. Can
you lift up your arm a liitle bit?
Does that hurt? A liitle bit?
A liitle bit. OK. Is it tender?
Go ahead and put your arm down...
To see someone just really break
down and kind of acknowledge
their human weakness on screen
is a very, very rare
and a precious thing, and it's
absolutely devastating to watch.
Captain, can you tell me
what happened to your head?
They, er...
It's OK, take your time.
Take your time.
There's a two-centimetre laceration
on the left eyebrow.
It's OK.
I want you to look at me and I want
you to breathe, do you understand,
Captain? Yeah, yeah. OK. All right.
A four-centimetre gap.
A liitle laceration there
on the left temple.
OK. Very good. All right.
You're doing great, OK?
He's still,
still courageously
holding on to do a good job,
and that's what breaks our hearts.
Tom Hanks was now one of the most
acclaimed Hollywood stars
of all time.
But away from his public success,
he would still face private baitles.
Even being the world's
biggest movie star,
it's not necessarily easy.
Since 2OO2, Tom Hanks
has starred in nine films
in which he plays real-life
Whether it's a drug-taking
or an understated airline pilot,
Tom has brought an inner
decency to them all.
But no part was quite as saintly
as that of revered US
children's TV host Mr Rogers,
who Hanks would play in 2O19.
We didn't really get a lot
of Mr Rogers shows over here.
He's not really a part of
the British psyche, but in the US
he was enormous.
Tom Hanks looks nothing
like Mr Rogers.
He just has that same
sense of kind of calm
and groundedness and goodness.
For some people, he's the father
figure they never had.
For others, he's a kind of
trusted friend or adviser,
and his characters on screen
really do occupy a similar
place to Mr Rogers.
The film told the story
of a hard-biiten journalist,
sceptical that Mr Rogers
could be as nice as he appeared.
I like to meet Old Rabbit.
I donit want to talk about
Old Rabbit, I tve got to say.
Well, maybe Lloyd doesn't feel
like talking today, Daniel,
and that's OK.
Can you put the puppet down, Fred?
Mr Rogers is ultimately revealed
to be as saintly as he seems,
but does the same hold true for Tom?
He's kind, you know,
and you hear those things
and everybody's like,
well, yeah, but is there
something...? And there isn't.
He's just... He's one of the most
genuinely kind human beings
I 've ever met. He is.
Our industry is not
always very nice.
It can be very ruthless
and it can be very cruel.
He's chosen to stay a decent person
and somebody who's
available and gracious.
gets just such a warm - hearted,
fun, interesting guy.
Who doesnit like Tom Hanks?
Yet for all Tom's popularity and
success, recent years have not
been without challenges.
Everyone says, oh, nice guy,
and he absolutely is.
Even being the world's biggest movie
star, it's not necessarily easy.
Age brings with it other challenges.
A few years ago now, Rita was
diagnosed with breast cancer,
something that drew his family
together, and she spoke
about how much she relied
on him, how important
he was to her recovery.
Thankfully, after treatment, Rita
regained her health. But in 2O2O,
whilst filming in Australia,
the couple were amongst the first
famous names to be struck down
by a strange new illness.
He opened a door for us,
in many ways they both did,
without knowing.
Because it showed if Tom Hanks
and Rita Wilson can get Covid,
oh, my God, anybody can get Covid.
What happens to Hanks
is headline news,
yet this global superstar is
not too big to regularly
catch up with his old
theatre friends.
I mean, we try all older.
Many of us have had the experience
of having children.
Many of us have had the experience
now of losing parents,
losing friends, you know,
so we have lifets experience.
But the same sense of friendship
is still there.
I got a leiter from Tom,
and it was a beautiful,
beautiful long leiter.
He said that what that brought him,
that reunion while we were carrying
the burden of our lost youths,
it brought him, at age 6o,
a gift of connection.
And so that word is a part of the
vocabulary that makes up Tom.
And Tom has not just connected
with friends and family.
Through his performances,
he's connected with the world.
He's made some of the greatest
films of the last 3o years,
so I think he's left a legacy of
work that is kind of unparalleled.
You look at the great actors
over the years.
There is a paitern of what they did
to further their careers,
to take risk, to try
something different,
to say, to hell with what people
think, I tm doing this.
He's Everyman, he is us.
In no maiter what he does,
he represents all of us.
So, his success is the surprises
that he continues to bring to us
on the screen simply
by being who he is.
Now in his mid-6Os,
Tom has no plans to stop.
This philosophy strengthened
by a visit to a neurologist,
a story he recounts here
to the BBC in 2O16.
So I said, " Hey, doctor, you with
the diplomas on the wall",
"is there anything I can do
that can give me a slight edge"
"of not becoming senile?"
And he said something so profound
that I 've since told everybody.
He said, never retire. Do less,
don't work at the same pace,
but never give up that pursuit
of the spark that has
always fascinated you.
Do we think Tom will retire?
I donit think so!
I think he has too many roles
ahead of him to do.
And he'll go, knowing Tom,
he'll go till he's 1oo.
You've not seen the last of
Tom Hanks, I assure you of that.