“My mama always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” -Forrest Gump
Unless you’ve been marooned on an island without television, or trapped in a remote cabin with nothing for entertainment other than Stevie Nicks cassette tapes for the last three decades, then chances you are you’ve heard this quote a million times.
Heck. I’ll bet you can even replay the exact scene in your mind where Tom Hanks utters these famous words in Forrest Gump. For many, it is this quote which sums up all the performances and entire career of this legendary actor.
In an acting career spanning more four decades, Tom Hanks has wowed the world with his ability to play a diverse array of characters. His roles have the ability to touch the lives of people in a number of ways. From playing a homosexual, AIDS infected patient in ‘Philadelphia’ (1993), to the slow-witted but big-hearted ‘Forrest Gump’ (1994) and the deeply conflicted Army Captain in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998), Hanks has always showcased his talent of effectively portraying characters which resonate with the common man.
A respectable history buff, Hanks requires that all historical events are accurately portrayed in the movies he stars in. From his 1995 film ‘Apollo 13’ about a failed 1970 lunar mission, to his involvement in multiple projects surrounding World War II, he has always made sure that history is never distorted in any of his films. Hanks co-produced the Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning 2001 mini-series ‘Band of Brothers’ with long-time collaborator and legendary movie director, Steven Spielberg.
As the youngest recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the American Film Institute, his contribution to the world supersedes his work in films, and it shows. Hanks is a staunch supporter of NASA and has often voiced that his childhood dream was to become an astronaut. He is also a supporter of same-sex marriages, and clean, alternative fuels.
Known to be a passionate environmentalist, he was an early investor in the movement to manufacture more electric cars to cut down on fossil fuel usage. He owns an electric Toyota RAV E4 and continues to be an advocate for the movement away from fossil fuels and towards the adoption of cleaner fuel sources.
Hanks earned the affectionate moniker, the ‘American Dad,’ from his ever-friendly interactions towards his fans, always taking the time to mingle with them. His large social media following can’t seem to get enough of his “dad” jokes, and his light-hearted sense of humor makes his genuine character palpable to all. Perhaps his most lovable trait is his ability to speak so honestly and openly, even about grave issues like mental health and his struggles with Type 2 diabetes, making him all the more relatable.
Making his political allegiance known to the world was never a subject he shied away from. He is an avid democrat and often lends his voice to media and videos helping to support democratic causes. He even went to great lengths to support politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, acting as a public contributor for both of their campaigns.
A man of many talents, it might not surprise you to learn that he is also a scriptwriter and producer. He’s stated on record that he is most attracted to stories involving procedure and human behavior, which in turn are the stories he tends to focus on in his own productions. Hanks is also an acclaimed published author of the book, ‘Uncommon Type,’ which is a collection of seventeen short stories.
A truly fearless and versatile allstar, the man has never been one to shy away from exploring his talent using different mediums. He’s explored the stages of Broadway, appeared in many film sets, and starred in countless television frames.
Every celebrity has their quirks, and perhaps the most notable quirk of Hanks’ is his love for collecting manual typewriters, which he claims to use daily.
It is this quirky passion which inspired him to launched the uber popular iOS mobile application Hanx Writer in 2014. The application is meant to emulate the experience of using a manual typewriter and became the most downloaded mobile application within a few days of its launch.
Indisputably, Hank is a man of many talents, accomplishments, quirks, feats, and best of all, he uses platform to show us that Hollywood stars really are just as human as the rest of us.
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