Throughout Hollywood history, there’s never been a shortage of talent. You have James Dean, Marlon Brando, Idris Elba, and Joaquin Phoenix. We can’t forget to mention the skilled actresses like Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, and Constance Wu. Out of all of them, there stands someone who shines a little differently. Maybe he was the one that taught you life was like a box of chocolates. Whomever he is in your eyes, there’s no denying the force that is Tom Hanks. What makes him so sensational? Well, we know one reason that’s as wholesome as it gets.
Hanks The Wholesome
For some, it’s in their blood to be a kind spirit, as was the case for Tom Hanks, the actor born in Concord, California to a cook and a hospital worker.
Hanks wasn’t born into a family that already had riches; his beginning was more humble than most. He described his teenage self as extremely shy, responsible, and religious. Those three traits should give you a touch of awareness towards how wholesome a young Hanks was before fame.
Passion For Film
Even though Hanks carried such introverted personality traits, other traits define the young star as well. In his life, Hanks possessed diligence and a strong sense of compassion too.
It would be these two characteristics that translated into a strong talent and a deep passion for the art of film. They say it isn’t for everyone, but Hanks wasn’t just anyone. When you have a strong enough yearning like Hanks did and still does today, great things can happen.
Young And Inspired
Loving something means doing it when no one else is around and on your own time. When Hanks was in college, he would go to plays by himself quite often.
Becoming so invested, he eventually started seeing pieces done by some of the greatest talents, like Tennessee Williams and Ibsen. Hanks recalls going as far as not ever bringing a date with him once. He was on solo missions all the time when it came to plays.
Hanks Elevates His Skills
Hanks loved the theater so much that he eventually outgrew merely watching it. That’s when he took up acting classes, something that he felt allowed him to express who he really was inside.
It was this forum that unlocked Hanks’ passion further. We imagine it felt like an Olympic swimmer winning their first race as a child and knowing they wanted to compete at the next level. One day in 1979, Hanks chose to do something that would change everything.
Hello, New York City!
Soon enough, Hanks wanted more, so he decided to pack his things and head to New York City! He felt that the city held the keys to his future, so he needed to get there.
Once he arrived, it didn’t take the talented actor long to get his legs under him. Hanks made his movie debut in a low-budget slasher film called He Knows You’re Alone. That was only the start for the many roles Hanks would play.
Career Hits The Races
And like that, Hanks was on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s greats. He slowly began starring in critically acclaimed films like the romantic hit Sleepless in Seattle, the somber Philadelphia, and the thrilling Apollo 13.
To many, it looked like Hanks made the best decision ever when he chose to move to New York. He made so many correct decisions that he any movie he starred in turned to gold for the studio.
Was There Something In Common?
While Hanks did partake in numerous roles portraying various personalities, there was something in common with all of them. Only the well-observant might’ve figured this out already, but what do you think it is?
Take a moment and think about Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Sully, Toy Story, and more. These roles share a thread going through them all that reminds you of the kind of person Hanks was while growing up in his teenage years.
The Good Guy
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’ll tell you. In all of his films, no matter how old or new, Hanks always leans towards playing the characters that are good people.
This could be due to his upbringing and having a religious background because most religions require that you be a kind person. If not that, maybe his shyness plays a factor. It’s hard to be anything on camera other than yourself when you’re shy. Hanks never plays the bad guy.
Was There A Better Explanation For This?
Before you start to make your assumptions, you should know there is a reason for it all. It wasn’t random coincidences that Hanks would only play on the good side.
He shared why with the media, and it’s extremely wholesome. It’s about as sweet as it gets, which is why so many adore Hanks. He has a heart of gold, and he never seems to have any intentions that aren’t pure. He’s a great role model.
No Hate In His Bones
The primary reason behind Hanks only doing the nice guy roles is because he doesn’t have an ounce of hate in his body. He wouldn’t feel comfortable playing an evil character in a film.
He can’t help that he’s that way, it’s just in his DNA to be the kind of man people can look up to and respect. He didn’t have to portray any tough guy to gain the admiration many actors seek in their careers. He kept true to himself.
No Need To Fake It
“It’s because I never get them,” he remarked to The New York Times, “because bad guys, by and large, require some degree of malevolence that I don’t think I can fake.”
You see, Hanks couldn’t even play a role like that if he tried. Faking it doesn’t sound like anything Hanks wants to participate in, and we’re glad he has that attitude. We don’t think anyone else could have played Forrest Gump any better than Hanks.
“A Cache Of Mystery”
Hanks continued, going on to say, “I recognized in myself a long time ago that I don’t instill fear in anybody. Now, that’s different than being nice, you know? I think I have a cache of mystery. But it’s not one of malevolence.”
Discovering early on that he isn’t the person to scare anyone allowed Hanks to blossom more than most who don’t have that level os self-awareness yet. He is right, we feel he does have a mysterious manner about him.
A Rare Find
Is it now safe to say that Hanks is a rare find in this world, especially in Hollywood? You don’t get the rare mix of talent, humility, and kindness in Hollywood as much as you would hope.
Hanks is a cut above the rest in many regards, but it’s his personality that gives him that true boost. Can you imagine? Someone who can’t even envision themselves committing malicious acts strictly for entertainment purposes. That’s a kind soul.
Something You Probably Already Knew
Well, if you’re a true Hanks fan, then you probably knew that fact about him. Paying attention to all of his films (he’s been in over 100) and remembering the roles he takes should’ve given you a pretty good idea.
Whether it’s real or fictional roles, Hanks is the one with the halo over his head; you won’t see him with the horns. If you want to know what the epitome of what goodness looks like, watch a Hanks movie.
Let’s look at his iconic role from 1994 when Hanks played Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump was about a simple-minded, but emotionally inclined character who accomplished more than anyone else in the world could imagine.
He experienced a lot of things that might deter others, but that stop him from spreading love and continuing to make history. Let’s face it, if someone repeatedly gets left by the love of their life, we don’t think they’d be as nice as Gump was by the second time.
Saving 155 Lives Isn’t Easy
Decades after that touching performance he gave in Forrest Gump, Hanks still thrived in his career. In 2016, the star actor landed the lead role in the film Sully, another one that showcased his kindness.
If you’re unaware, Sully is a movie based on a real event emergency event. A man had to land a flight in the middle of the Hudson River and ended up saving 155 lives in the process. He didn’t have to, but he did it.
A Beautiful Day Movie
One of Hanks’ most recent roles was perfect for him. In 2019, Hanks epitomized positivity and kindness when he played Mr. Rogers! A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood had Hanks’ name all over it.
The film was a biopic and a tribute to the late entertainer. In other news that shouldn’t be that shocking is the information Hanks discovered while filming this movie. He learned that he is related to Rogers because they’re sixth cousins!
Channeling Deep Inside
Actors and actresses rely on many tactics to summon the skills that captivate audiences. Hanks doesn’t resort to feelings of anger or revenge to excel, but he does acknowledge his talents.
Hanks knows he has a special skill set, one that even Stevie Wonder can see. That’s one of the way Hanks is able to channel his inherent kindness and infuse it into his roles. Many entertainers try to do it, but no one does it quite as well.
Tom Hanks Has A Secret Weapon
“I’m not mysterious,” Hanks added. “You’re not going to get a huge amount of anger out of me or anything like that. I’m not coming in to dominate a room, but I am coming in to seduce it somehow.”
That’s an interesting self synopsis, but if that’s the way he sees it, who are we to disagree? When you think about it, it makes sense that’s where Hanks thinks he’s the most effective. How can turn down those soft eyes and charming smile?
Hanks And Rita Wilson
As kind as the media likes to paint Hanks, it wouldn’t be fair to gloss over his domestic drama with wife Rita Wilson. They’ve been married since 1988, but it hasn’t been clear skies all these years.
This would be the perfect example of the saying “all that glitters isn’t gold.” While Hanks shines like the brightest star ever and his infectious joy spreads to you, there are some things that wouldn’t make him very proud to hear.
Decades Of Love
The public sees decades of love when they see singer-songwriter Rita Wilson and Hanks together. They’re one of Hollywood’s longest-lasting couples and they continue to show that true love triumphs overall.
Still, the talented duo can maintain a perfect exterior all they wish. It won’t cover the the obstacles they had to hurdle together on the path to a successful relationship in this industry. What’s the secret behind these two love birds that not everyone sees?
A Happy Beginning
The year was 1984 when Hanks and Wilson crossed paths. They were on the TV set of ABC’s show Bosom Buddies. The sitcom starred Hanks, so Wilson didn’t need a lesson on who her future husband was before meeting him.
At first, when you strike some kind of interest for another person, the two of you might flirt. That’s what Wilson and Hanks did, but they had no clue what would come from their flirtatious interaction.
One Thing In The Way
Eventually, Wilson made a guest appearance on Hanks’ sitcom and would later star alongside Hanks in the 1985 comedy movie Volunteers. That film also featured co-star John Candy as the three of them brought the laughs.
Things looked like they were great, but there was something in the way. One thing got in the way of the Hanks and Wilson’s feelings for each other, but what was it? If history does repeat itself, this might be a familiar Hollywood story.
While his interest in Wilson grew, there was one tiny problem in the way. Hanks was still unhappily married to his college sweetheart, Samantha Lewes. That wasn’t good for anyone involved.
Hanks had to do something quick before things got out of hand. The longer he stayed with Lewes, the harder it would be to start his future love with Wilson. We know what happened next, but Hanks and Wilson never saw this coming in a million years…
All It Took Was One Look
She was his college sweetheart, but that flame burned out and from it ignited another fire with someone new. Hanks had an interview with GQ talking about the spark he felt with Wilson.
“Rita and I just looked at each other and — kaboing — that was that,” he said. Pretty hard to deny that, especially when the person feels the same way you do! It was only a matter of time before they would make things official.
He Swore It Was Over
We get it, being in a marriage with someone you once loved deeply makes it hard to leave the commitment. Still, feelings fade, things change, and people do to, so the love more than likely wasn’t all the way there.
Hanks swears the marriage was effectively finished by the time he met future wife Wilson. That makes the situation a little more acceptable to some. The divorce with Lewes didn’t finalize until 1987, but Hanks and Wilson showed their love to the world at a film premiere in 1986!
A Liberating Moment
Yes, revealing to everyone you’re with someone else at a red carpet event does sound extremely risky, but there’s an upside to it. He wasn’t officially divorced yet, but the appearance with Wilson more than likely felt like an elephant stopped sitting on his chest.
The Lewes’ marriage was the only thing in the way of Wilson and Hanks becoming official, but the love birds didn’t feel like waiting until the divorce was final, so they made a statement.
Love Is In The Air
April 30, 1988, marked the day Hanks and Wilson made their love permanent. It went from a flirtatious encounter, to revealing to everyone they had a thing, to walking down the aisle and throwing the bouquet!
At this point, Hanks’ life was perfect on paper. There wasn’t anything that he would change. In his eyes, he wasn’t malicious, he hadn’t been in a marriage that made him unhappy, and he had the woman he cared for most.
The Bliss Continues!
If you had to imagine a more perfect situation, you probably couldn’t. Wilson probably felt like the luckiest woman in the world to have someone as kind and “seducing” as Hanks to call her husband.
Well, he did say he could seduce, so we’re guessing he uses that talent in the relationship. The two went on to star in the ’93 romance, Sleepless in Seattle, which was a big deal. Hanks also would achieve something not many others in the industry have.
Back-To-Back Oscar Victories
In 1993 and 1994, Hanks put on beautiful acting displays for his roles in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump respectively. As a result, Hanks won back-to-back Oscars for Best Actor! Not many can do that! His speech was heartwarming and reminded everyone how kind he is.
“I view my wife as my lover, and we have a bond that goes beyond words like wife or girlfriend or mother,” Hanks continued. “Without my connection with Rita, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to connect with what Forrest was going through.”