Tom Hanks movies weren’t always Hollywood events. He rose through the ranks doing television and goofy 80s comedies. In the 90s, he won two Oscars in a row for philadelphia cream and Forrest Gump. It finally gave him the clout to do the things he really wanted to do.
Hanks spoke to The New York Times in an interview published June 15. After discussing his role as Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis, Hanks spoke about his career. Here’s what he said about the first time he got to choose his project.
‘Apollo 13′ was Tom Hanks’ first film he made because he wanted
Hanks spent the first decade of his career proving himself. With his box office and critical acclaim secured in 1994, Hanks had a new opportunity.
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“The other thing that happened in the 90s was when [agent] CAA’s Richard Lovett said, “What do you want to do?” Hanks told the New York Times. “No one asked me that question either. People were always like, ‘What do you want to do with this opportunity?’ But what do you want do? I said that I would like to make a film on Apollo 13. It was the first time that I said: “This is the kind of artist that I want to be. But if you look at anyone’s career, there are successes and failures. There are movies that just don’t work, and if something that doesn’t works debilitates you, you’re toast.
He also learned to stop saying yes to every movie
Part of getting to the point where it’s done Apollo 13 was Hanks himself learning his worth. As an actor, he was inclined to seize every opportunity. Once you’ve reached a certain level of success, it can be exhausting and counterproductive.
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“I wasn’t an overnight sensation,” Hanks said. “I was in film for a long time until I had enough opportunity and experience to realize that I don’t have to say yes to just because they offer me the job. Some of them were, what am I going to do instead? Wait for the phone to ring? The phone rang! I said yes! But I was lucky that my sense of me- same time and my artistic thirst grew at the same time. I’d done enough romantic roles in enough movies and compromised enough to say, “I’m not even going to read those scripts anymore. represents more of the artist you want to be.
Before “Apollo 13”, this Tom Hanks film was a revelation
The 90s saw Hanks move from comedic lead to dramatic lead. The role that encompassed the two was A league apart.
“When Penny Marshall came to see me on A league apart, I said, ‘Penny, it’s written for a guy who’s older than me. The character is in his 40s and washed up,” Hanks said. “She said, ‘That’s why I want you. Because this guy should have been great until he was 40 and he wasn’t. I went Aaaah. Before that, a director had never said to me something like, “Find a reason why you’re 36, you’re broke and you manage an all-girls baseball team.” So it was, Katie, bar the door! I was looking for more from then on.
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