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Tom Hanks Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (99) | Personal Quotes (50) | Salary (16)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 9 July 1956Concord, California, USA
Birth NameThomas Jeffrey Hanks
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His father had English, and some German, ancestry, while his mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese. Tom grew up in what he has called a "fractured" family. He moved around a lot after his parents' divorce, living with a succession of step-families. No problems, no abuse, no alcoholism - just a confused childhood. He had no acting experience in college and, in fact, credits the fact that he couldn't get cast in a college play with actually starting his career. He went downtown, auditioned for a community theater play, was invited by the director of that play to go to Cleveland, and there his acting career started. He met his second wife, actress Rita Wilson on the set of his television show Bosom Buddies (1980) - she appeared in one episode in the second season (1981), Bosom Buddies: All You Need Is Love (1981). They have two children, and Tom has another son and daughter by his first wife, Samantha Lewes. In 1996, he made his first step behind the camera, directing and writing as well as starring in the film, That Thing You Do! (1996).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bruce Cameron <dumarest@midcoast.com>

Spouse (2)

Rita Wilson (30 April 1988 - present) (2 children)
Samantha Lewes (24 January 1978 - 19 March 1987) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Playing conflicted regular guys
Frequently plays ordinary characters in extraordinary situations
His characters are often immensely likeable ordinary guys

Trivia (99)

Is a frequent guest host on Saturday Night Live (1975).
Received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the U. S. Navy's highest civilian honor, on Veterans Day 1999 for his work in the movie Saving Private Ryan (1998).
Entertainment Weekly chose him as the only actor worthy of $20 million.
Dislocated his shoulder when he fell through a rotting floor in a building in Germany while scouting locations with Steven Spielberg for the HBO series Band of Brothers (2001) (1999).
Second actor to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars, for his work in Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). The first was Spencer Tracy, for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938).
Ranked #17 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list (October 1997).
Attended Skyline High School in Oakland, California.
Attended Chabot College in Hayward, California.
Attended California State University, Sacramento.
Voted best actor by the readers of "Us" magazine (1995).
Younger brother of Sandra Hanks and Larry Hanks and older brother of Jim Hanks.
After a one-shot guest appearance on Happy Days (1974), producer Ron Howard asked him to read for a secondary part in Splash (1984), and he got the lead instead.
Married his first wife Samantha Lewes (real name: Susan Dillingham) two months after their son Colin's birth.
Hanks cited the help of a nearby ice cream shop which helped him gain 30 pounds for his role in A League of Their Own (1992).
Received emergency treatment for serious staph infection in leg after returning from overseas location shoot (1999).
Was asked to play the title role in Jerry Maguire (1996).
Born at 11:17 AM
His Oscar acceptance speech for 1993's Philadelphia (1993) led to the plot of the movie In & Out (1997). Hanks thanked a gay teacher in his speech.
Has another brother who is a professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, IL.
Received American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award, presented by fellow Oscar winner Steven Spielberg, the youngest ever to receive that award (12 June 2002).
Returned to his old high school, Skyline High School in Oakland, California, to dedicate a renovated theater named for Rawley T. Farnsworth, the retired drama teacher he thanked in his Philadelphia (1993) Oscar speech. Oakland Tribune reports Hanks donated about 1/4 of the $465,000 cost of the project. Then he led the audience of some 1000 people in a chorus of "There's No Business Like Show Business" (6 March 2002).
Is a member of the International Thespian Society (a group supporting theatre for high school students internationally).
Jim Lovell, whom Hanks played in Apollo 13 (1995), is actually left-handed, but Hanks refused to write with his left hand for the movie.
He is a third cousin, four generations removed, of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Their common ancestors were John Hanks (1680 - 1740) and his wife, Catherine, who were the great-great-grandparents of Lincoln, and the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents of Tom Hanks. It is commonly (albeit incorrectly) reported that they are fourth cousins, four times removed, but Thomas Hanks (b. 1819) and Abraham Lincoln were both great-great-grandchildren of John Hanks and Catherine, making them third cousins. Tom Hanks was Thomas Hanks' great-great-grandson, making his relation to Abraham Lincolns four generations removed.
Ranked #13 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List. Had ranked #15 in 2002.
Is a diehard Cleveland Indians baseball team fan.
Ranked #1 on Star TV's Top Ten Box Office stars of the 1990s (2003)
Lost 30 lbs. for his role in Philadelphia (1993).
Gained and later lost 50 lbs. for his role in Cast Away (2000).
Is a fan of English Premier League soccer team Aston Villa and was presented with a shirt on a TV show with the print 'Hanks 1' on the back.
Has been referred to by many as "the modern James Stewart".
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 205-206. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
His heroic Oscar-winning gay character Andrew Beckett in the 1993 film Philadelphia (1993) was ranked #49 on the Amerian Film Institute's heroes list of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villians.
He was voted the 26th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
His three favourite bands/artists are Elvis Presley, Patrick Rondat and Alabama Thunderpussy.
His first wife Samantha Lewes died of cancer 14 years after their divorce.
Had made three films with director Steven Spielberg, all of which are tied to Europe. Saving Private Ryan (1998) revolved around his character and his infantry unit seeking out a missing private in Europe during WW II. Catch Me If You Can (2002) involved his character tracking down Frank Abagnale Jr. in France and in The Terminal (2004), his character was from the fictional eastern European country of Krakohzia.
Shortly before the release of Columbia Pictures' Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), he was one of several actors speaking out against the use of "synthespians" (computer-generated actors) in the place of flesh-and-blood humans. Nevertheless, he took the lead role in the computer-animated film The Polar Express (2004), a film highly-publicized for its use of new (and expensive) technique of digital actors.
Between 1994 and 2004, he was the performer nominated for the most Academy Awards (four times, along with Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Judi Dench and Ed Harris) and won the most (twice).
Was considered for the role of Peter Banning (Peter Pan) in Hook (1991).
Was listed as a potential nominee on both the 2005 and 2007 Razzie Award nominating ballots. He was suggested in the Worst Actor category on the 2005 ballot for his roles in the films The Polar Express (2004) (referred to as "Bi-Polar Express" on the ballot), The Ladykillers (2004) and The Terminal (2004). He was suggested again in the Worst Actor category two years later, for his performance in The Da Vinci Code (2006). He failed receive either nomination.
Has been good friends with Bruce Springsteen since his youth.
He once worked as a hotel bellman. Some of the celebrity guests whose bags he carried were Cher, Sidney Poitier, Slappy White and Bill Withers.
Premiere Magazine ranked him as #28 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
He is an environmental conservationist and often advocates and supports natural causes.
In three of his movies, he has had a scene where he is stranded at sea: Splash (1984), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), and Cast Away (2000).
Has worked with two actors who played Howard Hughes. In Philadelphia (1993), he worked with Jason Robards, who played Hughes in Melvin and Howard (1980) for director Jonathan Demme. His cast mate in Catch Me If You Can (2002) was Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Hughes in The Aviator (2004) for Martin Scorsese.
He and his good friend Meg Ryan have been co-stars in three movies as love interests: Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and You've Got Mail (1998).
On his father's side, Tom is of English, and some German, ancestry. Two of his paternal great-grandparents were English immigrants. Tom's maternal grandparents were both of Portuguese descent (from the Azores Islands). Tom's maternal great-grandfather had changed his surname from "Fraga" to "Frager".
Born to Amos Mefford Hanks, a chef, and his wife Janet Marylyn Frager, a hospital worker, his parents divorced in 1960.
Has been Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch) since 2001.
Related to Bill Cosby's wife Camille O. Cosby (née Camille Olivia Hanks), as both share a biological lineage to Abraham Lincoln through his mother, Nancy Hanks.
Stepson of the former Frances Wong, whom his father married in 1965.
Sold popcorn and peanuts as a teenager at the Oakland Coliseum.
His performance as Josh Baskin in Big (1988) is ranked #15 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
His performance as Chuck Noland in Cast Away (2000) is ranked #46 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
He and President George Bush are both related to 19th-century Presidents. Bush, a Republican, is descended, by way of his mother's family, from Franklin Pierce, one of the last Democratic presidents before Abraham Lincoln. Hanks, a Democrat, is descended from the family of Lincoln's mother.
His top five all-time favorite films are 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Godfather (1972), Fargo (1996), Elephant (2003) and Boogie Nights (1997), with Stanley Kubrick's film holding the top ranking.
His performance as Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump (1994) is ranked #43 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Is the third most-represented actor (behind Sidney Poitier and Gary Cooper) on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time, with four of his films making the list. They are: Forrest Gump (1994) at #37, Philadelphia (1993) at #20, Apollo 13 (1995) at #12, and Saving Private Ryan (1998) at #10.
Ranked #16 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list. Had ranked #16 in 2005 as well.
Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". Volume 244, pages 199-202. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2006.
He once shared a record (with Tom Cruise and Will Smith) as the actor to star in the most consecutive $100 million-grossing movies (7). As of 2008, Smith holds the record alone with 8 movies.
Frequently works with director Steven Spielberg, and is related to Nancy Hanks, the mother of Abraham Lincoln. Ironically, he was not involved in Spielberg's film about Lincoln, despite his frequent involvement in historical projects.
Forbes magazine estimated his 1999 earnings at $71.5 million.
Cited as America's Favorite Movie Star in Harris Polls conducted in 2002, 2004, 2005, a record number of times as the #1 favorite. Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood are the only other actors to have achieved that feat.
Was a member of Monty Python for one night only, filling in for John Cleese, at A Concert For George.
Married Rita Wilson at Saint Sophia's Church, converting from Roman Catholicism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Was in attendance at Princess Diana's funeral along with Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, among others.
Auditioned for the role of Joel in Risky Business (1983), which eventually went to Tom Cruise.
Has also credited Joe Spano, former co-star of the TV series Hill Street Blues (1981), as being another of his most important early inspirations.
Favorite baseball team is the Cleveland Indians. He purchased a stone in the front of Jacobs Field when it was built.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine reported that his earnings were estimated to be $74 million the previous year.
The asteroid "12818 tomhanks" was named after him.
Enjoys collecting typewriters, purchasing over 80 of them around the globe. His interest in them generated an idea for an iPad application that he developed called Hanx Writer, that simulates antique typewriters sound and feel. It was very successful and made it to to top list on Appstore in August 2014.
Publicly endorsed Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
Is a die hard Oakland Raiders fan. Featured in the documentary Rebels of Oakland: The A's, the Raiders, the '70s (2003).
Is a fan of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999), and has expressed desire to one day guest star on the show.
Is a fan of Doctor Who (1963).
Was originally cast in the dual role of "Charlie Kaufman/Donald Kaufman" in Adaptation. (2002), but later dropped out. Nicolas Cage, who went on to receive a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance, was cast instead.
When he appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (2009), Conan's last NBC show in L.A. (Jan. 22, 2010), the Tonight Show Band played The Beatles' "Lovely Rita" as Hanks made his entry, undoubtedly a nod to the lovely Rita Wilson, Tom's beloved wife.
Lives in Pacific Palisades, Malibu, California and Ketchum, Idaho.
Both Tom Hanks and his son, Colin Hanks, have been "Not My Job" quiz contestants on the National Public Radio show, "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!". Both won the quiz.
Has often done films which (comically) use urinating/using the bathroom as a plot device (e.g. The Green Mile (1999), Forrest Gump (1994), Apollo 13 (1995) and Dragnet (1987)).
Has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes [October 7, 2013].
Became a father for the 1st time at age 21 when his girlfriend [now ex-wife] Samantha Lewes gave birth to their son Colin Hanks on November 24, 1977.
Became a father for the 2nd time at age 25 when his 1st [now ex] wife Samantha Lewes gave birth to their daughter Elizabeth Hanks on May 17, 1982.
Became a father for the 3rd time at age 34 when his 2nd wife Rita Wilson gave birth to their son Chet Hanks on August 4, 1990.
Became a father for the 4th time at age 39 when his 2nd wife Rita Wilson gave birth to their son Truman Theodore Hanks on December 26, 1995.
Became a grandfather for the 1st time at age 54 when his granddaughter Olivia Jane Hanks, via son Colin Hanks, was born on February 1, 2011.
Became a grandfather for the 2nd time at age 56 when his granddaughter Charlotte Bryant Hanks, via son Colin Hanks, was born on July 1, 2013.
New York, NY, USA: Opens on Broadway in "Lucky Man", the last play written by his friend and frequent director, the late Nora Ephron. This will also be Hanks's first-ever appearance in a stage production since he was in junior college. And he'll be co-starring with another old friend, his old Bosom Buddies (1980) co-star, Peter Scolari. [February 2013]
Some of his movies use comedic scenes of his character urinating: The Money Pit (1986), A League of Their Own (1992), Forrest Gump (1994), and Apollo 13 (1995).
He, Tilda Swinton, Marion Cotillard, Emma Thompson and Daniel Brühl are the only actors to receive a Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and Critics' Choice nomination for the same performance and then fail to be Oscar-nominated for their performances in Captain Phillips (2013), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), Rust and Bone (2012), Saving Mr. Banks (2013) and Rush (2013) respectively.
As of 2014, has appeared in seven films that were Oscar nominated as Best Picture: Forrest Gump (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Green Mile (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011) and Captain Phillips (2013).
Has played a captain in three different movies: Apollo 13 (1995), Saving Private Ryan (1998) & Captain Phillips (2013).
A recipient of the 2014 Kennedy Center Honors. Other recipients this year were Al Green, Patricia McBride, Sting, and Lily Tomlin.
Tom played Kip/Buffy Wilson in Bosom Buddies. His second wife is Rita Wilson and played opposite Wilson the soccer ball in Cast Away.

Personal Quotes (50)

It's just as hard . . . staying happily married as it is doing movies.
I've made over 20 movies, and 5 of them are good.
[on the CGI used in The Polar Express (2004)] It's the same stuff they used in that fourth "Lord of the Rings" movie. Or was it the 19th "Lord of the Rings" movie? You know, the one where Boldo and Jingy travel across the bridge? I don't know, I don't know their names. When I watch "Lord of the Rings", I just think, "Someone got their finger stuck on the word processor for too long".
[interview in "Women's World", 10/11/05] If you're funny, if there's something that makes you laugh, then every day's going to be okay.
I do not want to admit to the world that I can be a bad person. It is just that I don't want anyone to have false expectations. Moviemaking is a harsh, volatile business, and unless you can be ruthless, too, there's a good chance that you are going to disappear off the scene pretty quickly. So appearances can be deceptive, particularly in Hollywood.
My wife keeps on telling me my worst fault is that I keep things to myself and appear relaxed. But I am really in a room in my own head and not hearing a thing anyone is saying.
Some people go to bed at night thinking, "That was a good day." I am one of those who worries and asks, "How did I screw up today?"
I love what I do for a living, it's the greatest job in the world, but you have to survive an awful lot of attention that you don't truly deserve and you have to live up to your professional responsibilities and I'm always trying to balance that with what is really important.
I must say that I do wrestle with the amount of money I make, but at the end of the day what am I gonna say? I took less money so Rupert Murdoch could have more?
My favorite traditional Christmas movie that I like to watch is All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). It's just not December without that movie in my house.
The year I was born, 1956, was the peak year for babies being born, and there are more people essentially our age than anybody else. We could crush these new generations if we decided to.
Regarding the WGA Strike and how it could affect the Academy Awards: The show must go on, that is one of the tenets of everything. I am a member of the board of governors of the Academy, and we definitely want to put on a great show and honor the films that have come out in the course of the year. I just hope that the big guys who make big decisions, up high in their corporate boardrooms and what not, get down to honest bargaining and everyone can get back to work.
As you know, the election between [Thomas] Jefferson and John Adams was filled with innuendo, lies, a bitter, partisan press and disinformation. How great we've come so far since then.
In this business, careers are based upon longevity.
If I was to direct Ron Howard, I guarantee you, I would put him through a living hell every day. I would demand so much of him. We wouldn't quit until he leaves the set crying. Weeping! Spent!
My work is more fun than fun but, best of all, it's still very scary. You are always walking some kind of high wire. I guess it's like being a sportsman. When people ask great football stars or cricketers what they will miss most when the time comes to stop, they'll tell you that it's that moment when the ball comes to them. In that moment, there's that wonderful anxiety, that feeling of "Please don't let me screw this up". If I didn't have the chance to do what I do, it's that I would miss more than anything. That terror is what makes me feel alive. It's a wonderful feeling, unlike anything else in the world.
[on Charlie Wilson] Wilson may have lived his life in a certain way, but to give him his due, he severed the Achilles' heel of the Soviet Union. It was just nine months after they pulled out of Afghanistan that the Berlin wall came down. And one of the reasons it fell was that the Soviet government knew that the cream of its armed forces had been decimated by a bunch of people in a place called Afghanistan. That meant they couldn't defend their borders in East Germany and Poland. That has Charlie Wilson all over it.
[on The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)] When we were making it, that movie was huge. We couldn't make a move anywhere in New York City. Everybody was talking about it. Everybody was miscast, me particularly. Brian De Palma deals with iconography more than filmmaking. He is the most uncompromising filmmaker - both in a good way and a bad way - that you'll ever come across. This is the guy who made Scarface (1983). So his take on it one just one of those things. You can't take a book like that, that has changed the way people talk and think and change it into a palatable movie, or alter the thrust of what the source material is talking about. It may not translate in a way that is going to work.
[on The Pacific (2010)] Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as 'yellow, slant-eyed dogs' that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what's going on today?
[In a New York Times article on Julia Roberts]: What am I, just another in your long line of I Love Julia calls?
(1989, on Bachelor Party (1984)) I'm the only one at the bachelor party not to get laid. The movie is just a sloppy rock-and-roll comedy that has tits in it. It was made when the studios were making lots of "Porky's" and "Animal House" kinds of things.
(1989, Playboy Magazine) When you have a hit, you get so much attention paid to you. Splash (1984) made eighty million dollars and Bachelor Party (1984) made forty million. You think, Oh, I know how to do this. But you can't even begin to know anything after two movies, though you can get arrogant and lazy. I didn't become an actor to develop a personality cult or to get power over people. I went into this because it's fun, because it's a great way to make a living. That really governs my reaction to it all. But you get all this attention. Your head can play all sorts of bizarre tricks. By now, I think I have a pretty good grasp of how this stuff works. I fought my battles a long time ago...I guess you have a period when you think you deserve all the attention you're getting. You have people surrounding you, telling you that you're the greatest thing in the world. I honestly don't think I have an inflated view of myself now. But it happens.
(1989, on The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)) Not a very good movie. It doesn't have any real, clear focus to it. It isn't about anything particularly that you can honestly understand. It made no money at all.
(1989, on Nothing in Common (1986)) Has a bit of a split personality, because we're trying to be very funny in the same movie in which we're trying to be very touching. It's the best work that I had done up to then. It didn't go through the roof, but it did very well.
(1989, on Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986)) Disappeared without a trace, even though it's probably the most visually beautiful movie I've made.
(1989, on Dragnet (1987)) Made a lot of money but probably not nearly as much as anticipated. It's convoluted. There are problems with it. It should be funnier.
(1989, on Punchline (1988)) That's the hardest one to make any sort of judgment on. The movie didn't do that well, which was really disappointing. If I were going to figure out why, I would end up taking a bunch of cheap shots at an awful lot of people who tried real hard, and that's not fair. What can you say? But it's the best work I've ever done. We were talking some real naked truths about the characters and, in a lot of ways, about myself. I was too close. The guy in Punchline probably has the worst aspects of my worst aspects. He is extremely competitive, for one thing. Competitive to a fault. He is unable to balance his daily existence so that real life and what he does for a living have an equal weight. I've certainly had those problems; I think any actor has: The only time you really feel alive is when you're working. I've gotten a little more mature since I was like that, but....I think that's what really drives actors absolutely stark-raving mad and why they develop ulcers and drug problems. Part of it is the insecurity factor-every time, you feel like you're never going to get another chance again. They're going to catch on, and that'll be it. Even when you're working a lot, you think, 'How many of these do I get?', It's like they give you only so many dollars in your wallet and once those dollars are spent, you're broke.
(1989, on working with Jackie Gleason in Nothing in Common (1986)) I was intimidated up to a point, but we worked as peers. I was certainly deferential and respectful. He wasn't feeling a hundred percent as far as his health, so he was kind of slow. But it was amazing: He came in exactly at nine, worked straight through to five. He had it down, knew what he wanted to do, got up and did it. He was just very, very professional.
(1989, Playboy Magazine) As a child, I had an incredible amount of freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. By the time I was in junior high school, I was wandering around, freely, as much as I wanted to. A free spirit.
(1989, on why his parents divorced) Mostly because of money. They weren't well off, and neither one of them could deal with four kids at one time. Also, my dad wanted us. Since then, I've had a divorce myself and I went back and talked to my parents. I asked them how they could do that, split us up. The answer was that you do what you have to do at the time. After that, my dad met another woman and married her and we moved to Reno. She had five kids of her own. Suddenly, it was, like-bang, zoom!-there were eight kids around. We were total strangers, all thrust together. I remember in school we had to draw a picture of our house and family and I ran out of places to put people. I put them on the roof. I drew Dad in bed, sleeping, since he worked so hard in the restaurant. When he and she split up, I never saw those people again.
(1989, on his on-screen heroes) Robert Duvall. All he has to do is walk across the street. And certainly Jack Nicholson. And Robert De Niro. I would see whatever Jason Robards did. Steve McQueen; he was really cool. Also, film directors. Stanley Kubrick was a huge thing for me; 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was probably the most influential film, movie, story, artistic package, whatever, that I ever saw. It was just bigger. It affected me much, much more than anything I had ever seen. There was just awe. I've seen that movie twenty-two times. In theaters, not on video tape. Every time I saw it, I saw something new, something else that Kubrick had put in. He was able to suspend my disbelief. I just felt, We are in space. The only other things that affected me as profoundly were reading "Catcher in the Rye" and finding out, in the fifth or sixth grade, about the Holocaust...I remember feeling as alone as "Holden Caulfield" did, thinking, This isn't talking about me, or my life, yet I know how he feels. Another thing about that book: I remember being very impressed at seeing the word crap in print. "All that David Copperfield kind of crap..."
(1989, on experimenting with drugs) As to drugs, there isn't anybody who didn't smoke pot. And I also had done some blow. But I never did LSD. I never even did Quãaludes or anything like that, though all of this stuff, especially for someone who worked in the theater, was abundant. Smoking pot just made me the stupidest human being in the world.
(1989, Playboy Magazine) I think my world image would have been very different if I had lost my virginity in high school, but I didn't. No Bachelor Party antics, I'm afraid. I just had a girlfriend for a long time. But something important did happen in high school. I took a drama class that determined my career. In the course of ten weeks, I saw five completely different types of theater. I felt that the theater was as magical a place as existed, and I wanted to be involved in it. So I majored in theater arts. After I saw a Berkeley Repertory Theater production of The Iceman Cometh, I knew I'd do anything to be a part of it. I went to Chabot College, where they had a great theater department. I started out operating the lights and building the sets. Later on, I began to perform and went off to the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland as slave labor. That was my big break. I went back to Sacramento as a professional actor and then went to New York with my wife and child. It was a war of survival, really. I was a kid who had never been in such a big city before. I was on unemployment and trying to act. My wife was an actress as well, and she was pursuing that as best she could. This went on for two years. Finally, I got a job in a low-budget movie, and after that, I got a development deal with ABC and we moved to California.
(1989, on landing Bosom Buddies (1980)) I had lived in New York for a couple of years and had developed, I guess, a defense mechanism when it came to auditions. And that was not to care about them too much. So I was able to go in and be so casual, so nonchalant about impressing those people that I'd screw it up-as opposed to trying to show them how great and unique a talent you are. People hate you when you do that. Eventually, a development deal was struck, which meant I would probably work in some ABC-TV series. It worked out to be "Bosom Buddies". We all had a great time. I thought we did some really excellent television shows. We, as actors, got to be a very, very finely-honed team. It was a great marriage, as far as that goes...By the end of two seasons, we were pretty well flagged. We were just exhausted. Everybody probably would have said the show was canceled at the right time, because we would have begun to chew each other's heads off.
(1989, on working with Penny Marshall on Big (1988)) Well, one thing she did that drove me crazy was to test over and over and over again with all sorts of actors. There were scenes that I must have done two hundred times on video tape and then two hundred more in the rehearsal process. Penny just wanted to see all sorts of things. I would say, "I can't do this scene one more time. I don't care who it is. I cannot read these same goddamn words one more time or by the time we get to making the movie, I'm going to hate it so much that I'm not going to do it at all". Well, what happened instead was, I knew the material so well that by the time we shot it, it turned out to be the best rehearsed of all the movies that I've done. There are only certain people I would accept that from. Penny is one. To most others, I would say, "Look, you either tell me exactly what is wrong or what is right about this or I'm going to strangle you".
(1989, on filming the keyboard dancing sequence in Big (1988)) It was exhausting. We rehearsed until we dropped. Robert Loggia plays three sets of tennis every day, so he was in shape for it. It was like jumping rope for three and a half hours every time we did the scene. It was really hard work.
(1989, on peers he admires) Sean Penn brings an integrity to his work that I think we all wish we had. Mickey Rourke is a guy I'll pay five dollars to walk across the street and see. There's something he does that he loads up his movies with, whether they're good or bad. Also Kevin Costner, Tom Berenger and Michael Keaton. I rarely go to the movies when I don't think, 'Man, I wish I had that part', you know?
(1989, on if he's gotten use to being rich and famous) It's a kick in the head, but it doesn't add to my ability. It doesn't add to my self-worth. I've always felt I could buy whatever I wanted, to tell you the truth, even when I didn't have any money. I honestly don't need an awful lot to keep me happy. What the money can do is guarantee the security of an awful lot of other people. I've been able to help my family. It's great to be able to do nice things for the people I care about. (As far as being famous), I remember that I'm not a rocket scientist. The only thing I have to protect from too much attention is my family, which I can do, for the most part. I talk to the press all the time. I'm accessible. It makes things easier. People leave you alone more. It is still a bit disconcerting to see a picture of myself and my wife in a tabloid or something like that, but big deal. I don't really go out into real public situations. I don't know what's going to happen if I try to go to hockey games next year and I can't get out of the place. But I still pursue the things that are important to me.
[on Twitter]: Tweeting is like sending out cool telegrams to your friends once a week.
[on being a supporter of British soccer team Aston Villa]: I fell in love with Aston Villa because I thought the name sounded like a lovely island off Sardinia.
[on Larry Crowne (2011)]: At the end, Larry Crowne is living in a crappy apartment. He still has a lousy job, he can't even afford to pay for the gas in his big car, and he's going to school with no real set future of what's going to happen. But he has this amazing new forceful presence in his life, and he can honestly say that the best thing that ever happened to him was getting fired from his job.
[on Larry Crowne (2011)]: We wanted to examine the theme of reinvention - not reinvention by way of fate dictating it, but by your own proactive place in how you move on to whatever the next chapter is going to be. It really began [this way]: I lose my job, I go to college, my teacher is Julia Roberts. What would happen?
We are competing in a marketplace in which the thing we might have going for us is the true battle against cynicism. That's what Larry Crowne (2011) is about, more than anything else.
[on Nora Ephron] Knowing and loving Nora meant her world - or her neighborhood - became yours. She gave you books to read and took you to cafes you'd never heard of that became legends. You discovered Krispy Kremes from boxes she held out, and you learned there is such a thing as a perfect tuna sandwich. She would give your kids small, goofy parts in movies with the caveat that they might not make the final cut but you'd get a tape of the scene. For a wrap gift she would send you a note saying something like, "A man is going to come to your house to plant an orange tree - or apple or pomegranate or whatever - and you will eat its fruit for the rest of your days."
I am a lay historian by nature. I seek out an empirical reflection of what truth is. I sort of want dates and motivations and I want the whole story. But I've always felt, unconsciously, that all human history is that connection from person to person to person, event to event to event, and from idea to idea.
[on preparing for his role in Cast Away (2000)] The idea of looking at four months of constant vigilance as far as what I ate, as well as two hours a day in the gym doing nothing but a monotonous kind of workout - that was formidable. You have to power yourself through it almost by some sort of meditation trickery. It's not glamorous.
Anytime you go off to do something new, you're involved in a reinvention, and any actor who says otherwise is just trying to lower expectations.
I have a great affection for the Irish. My professional experience was started by a great man named Vincent Dowling - as much a creature of the Irish theatre as has ever existed.
May you live as long as you want and not want as long as you live.
There's no substitute for a great love who says, 'No matter what's wrong with you, you're welcome at this table.'

Salary (16)

He Knows You're Alone (1980) $800
Splash (1984) $70,000
Big (1988) $1,750,000
Punchline (1988) $5,000,000
The 'Burbs (1989) $3,500,000
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) $5,000,000
Forrest Gump (1994) $70,000,000 (gross and profit participations)
Toy Story (1995) $50,000
Saving Private Ryan (1998) $40,000,000 + (gross and profit participations)
You've Got Mail (1998) $20,000,000
Toy Story 2 (1999) $5,000,000
The Green Mile (1999) $20,000,000
Cast Away (2000) $20,000,000
The Da Vinci Code (2006) $18,000,000 + profit participation
Angels & Demons (2009) $50 000 000
Toy Story 3 (2010) $15,000,000

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