Tom Hanks

September 30, 2013

Hi reddit, Tom Hanks here. Ask Me Anything.

I'm that guy in movies that sometimes can be seen more than once. In that I abhor self-promotion, I'll leave it to you guys to figure out what movies those are (hint: my next movie comes out October 11 ).

Looking forward to taking your questions!

I tweeted in advance, so here you go.

Hey, thanks very much! I gotta go, but thank you for the questions. I had a great time.

[No question]

We're trying to get some tech difficulties sorted out on my end... so in the meantime, thank you very much to /u/kn0thing for counting down to my AMA today.

Do you have any pets? If you do, is any of them called Wilson? :)

Thanks a lot for this AMA! You're awesome!

One dog. She needs walking every night, and I'm the only one who takes her!

Why don't I ever see reruns of Bosom Buddies?

It wasn't shot on HD and looks terrible now.

Hello, Mr. Hanks! What were your feelings on the mixed reactions to Cloud Atlas?

Nothing effects the love of making a movie -- particularly CLOUD ATLAS. It will be around for ever...

I'm trying to think of a good question....uh....oh! What's your favorite typewriter?! Thanks for doing the AMA! :D

I like my Hermes 2000 alot.

Hi Tom! Greetings from Sweden! Please tell me your favorite piece of trivia from a movie shoot, preferably something we probably didn't know.

Also thanks a lot for doing this, you've always been my favorite actor.

I had a terrible case of the flu shooting the football scenes in Gump

You have to kill either Kendrick Lamar or Earl Sweatshirt, who would you kill? And who do you think is a better lyricist?

No clue here, sorry!

What's your favorite genre of music?

Give me three guitars, a piano, and a good drummer and I'm done.

The bathtub falling through the floor scene in Moneypit followed by that classic laugh is one of the funniest moments ever committed to film. Thank you for making me cry with laughter every time I see it. I could gush like a teenage girl at a One Direction concert over your body of work as I grew up with your movies from The Man With One Red Shoe to my excitement for Captain Phillips. It looks amazing (and we expect nothing less from Tom f-ing Hanks). Thank you for the good times.

As a veteran and lover of military history and militaria in general, I want to thank you for your amazing portrayals, sincere historical accuracy, and of course your continued support of the armed services. Do you feel, as a filmmaker and actor, that historical accuracy in paramount in period pieces or is true historical accuracy in film not really possible?

Accuracy is not just uniforms being right or the tactics being correct -- the human behavior -- and the motivations, need to be true, and that is hard to do in movies...

Hi Mr. Hanks, I just want to say that you are my favorite actor of all time. My question is, What was it like working with Sam Mendes in Road to Perdition?

Sam is a talented gent who taught me the joys of Marmite on a toasted bagel.

Can you give us an update on the WWII miniseries on the 8th Air Force? What made you decide to focus on the Mighty 8th for the series?

Don Miller's book was all I could ask for in a historical tome. And HBO said " Can you give us another WWII series?" Done!

Can you still do the piano dance from Big?

Sure. It's Heart and soul followed by Chopstix!

Mr. Hanks, I think what we all need to know is this: What is your perfect sandwich?

Ham and swiss on spelt. Mustard only and a bit of lettuce. No tomato!

On a scale from 1 to 10, how bad was the appearance in the german show "Wetten Dass?" for you? You seemed a bit uncomfortable.

And I just want to thank you for all your terrific movies! They made me the movie buff I am...

I didn't mind doing Wetten Dass, I just didn't know I was going to be on for so long...


The first job I had in Cleveland with the Great Lakes Theater Festival. Without that first job you are not a professional...

HI. I love you Tom Hanks, you should win everything man can come up with. My question is, Do you have the real Wilson from Cast Away or was it lost?

I have the old, ratty wilson and sign new ones for charities.

Hey Tom!

How was it like to make fun of yourself doing SNL Celebrity Jeopardy?

Loved that, but should have said "Sybalence, sybalence" into the pen /microphone.

Did you get a chance to meet with Captain Phillips prior to the movie? If so, what was he like and how does he look back at the hostage situation now?

Rich was watching an NCAA basketball game of UConn in his socks when I walkd into his house. He has no fond memories of his ordeal but it's conclusion...

If you can only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be ?

The Japanese food seems good for you...

Whats your favorite movie you didn't act in?

Recently, Looper. And Das Boot the directors cut.

Hi Mr. Hanks! Do you have a favorite actor or actress that you loved working with the most? Is it possible to choose?


Hey, Tom. Happy you're here, doing this. Excited for the new movie! Looks amazing.

My question, how is Hooch doing?

All the dogs who played hooch -- all four of them -- went to dog heaven.

Why are you so cool? bay area represent!

Oakland -- birthplace of Cool.

Which would you rather see become a ride at a theme park: The Polar Express or Forrest Gump?

The Captain Phillips Life-Boat Launch Experience.

Thanks (that's what I'm referring to you as), what was the role you played in that you were most disappointed in the outcome of the movie?

Not a one.


Sure. Invent something and sell 1 million of them for $2.

Mr. Hanks, which version of Quantum Mechanics do you believe is more likely to be an accurate interpretation of reality - the Copenhagen statistical interpretation, the Everett-Wheeler "many worlds" model, or the Penrose "consciousness causes collapse" viewpoint?

I am Phoning a Friend Now... Steve DiBiasi says it's the Everett-Wheeler.

Were you ever rejected by a woman? How did that make you feel?

Crummy. Very crummy.

Good afternoon Mr. Hanks

I doubt you will ever read this but I am kind of hoping you will. A LONNNNNG way back, you actually worked with my dad in Cleveland at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival. He was an intern, you were not. I doubt you would remember him, but he had been given the nickname Sven. It's been such a long time ago that I doubt you'd remember but you can't blame a girl for trying. He always said wonderful things about you.

You've always been my favorite actor and I admire the broad range in acting you have. A question for you I have is, what scene in all the films you have done, was the most emotional for you?

Thanks for doing this AMA. You've always been my hero and an inspiration to continue my acting endeavors.

Was Sven there in '78 or '79?

Hi Tom! I loved your article in the nyt about typewriters. You nailed all the reasons why I like to use them myself. However, I tried to turn in one of my stories to my professor and she told me to stop because editing is far easier on a computer.

Can you give me the satisfaction of being able to tell my prof, "But Tom Hanks told me I should!!!"

for Papers, you gotta go with a computer. But love letters? Type 'em!

Do you actually know what love is?

Learned it from R. Wilson.

Mr Hanks.. Hello from UK.. One quick pointless question but are you really as nice as you seem. Tell us one thing that shows the dark side of Tom!

I relish Aston Villa victories.

What was it like working with Paul Greengrass? Did you do any research prior to filming Captain Phillips?

Paul made great movies like BLOODY SUNDAY and UNITED 93 -- I've wanted to work with him since. I am told there sneaks of CPhiliips this saturday. Where? I don't know...

Hey Tom, Hanks a plenty for having this AMA Just want to ask what your favourite animal is and what colour they would better suited to be.

Always thought chipmunks should be orange. Some are, right?

Have you ever been to Norway?

A visit to Norway is on my Bucket List.

Mr. Hanks, I just finished watching Band of Brothers. Is David Schwimmer funny in person?

He is. when he chooses to be.

How long do you think, would you really survive on an deserted island?

Id make it a week and a half.

I recently watched a rerun of saving private ryan which is a brilliant movie. Where did you guys get the end idea of blowing up a tank with a "handgun."

Desperation makes for odd decisions, then those P_51's came over and dropped bombs...

Tom, you have been my favorite actor since i was 8.

I have always wanted to know, how many tries did it take to play heart and soul/chopsticks on that huge piano?

That took all afternoon...,

Would you come to my wedding in 2015?

No, but I'll send a toaster.

Hi Tom! I just wanted to say that your role in Forrest Gump was one of the most touching roles I have had the privilege of seeing as a young person. Any general advice for a girl who feels like the world is moving at the speed of light?

Being kind always works...

Mr. Hanks: Mustache tips. Go.

Shave it off.

How far did Jim run for you in Forest Gump?

In Montana and south carolina. a few hundred yards in slo-mo.

Hello from the UK! Throughout your career you always seem to play the good guy. The ladykillers is the only exception I can think of and I really enjoyed you in that role. Do you ever wish you could play more "badguys"?

See CLOUD ATLAS and you tell me.

What is your opinion of Millenials? Do you hate them as much as the rest of the Baby Boomers?

Every generation makes it's way.

Greetings, Mr. Hanks. Your projects show a deep connection to the stories of World War II. Has that made an impact on you at a personal level?

I admire and respect your work. I also wonder if you would take a stab at another comedy project. Thanks for the AMA.

I never stop learning -- Read Rick Atkinson's GUNS AT LAST NIGHT.

It is probably one of your lesser known movies, but just wanted to say that I watched "That Thing You Do" countless times as a teenager.

It's the one movie I would love to make again.

Mr. Hanks, What would you say was the most difficult movie you have ever had a part in making? I would guess that Cloud Atlas was difficult because not only are there so many parts and accents, but the sheer amount of time it must have taken! Thanks

No movie is easy, some are just more comforatble than others.

If you were offered Quiz Master to an American equivalent of the BBC show Q.I., would you host it?

No, but University Challenge? Maybe!

Howdy Tom Hanks, I want you to know, I work for a major university and as part of our marketing strategy planning, we had to decide what type of celebrity our school wanted to be like. We chose you. That's how awesome you are, entire universities attempt to mold their students to be like you.

With that being said, if you could go back in time to send one message to yourself at age 30, what would you say?

Floss more often.

Aww dude! I forgot about your new movie! Looks fucking awesome!

Like all of em! Typical Tom Hanks...

Watch your language -- kids read this stuff!

Why does a person of such admirable qualities such as yourself waste their time answering the questions of the parasites that frequent this place?

Honestly, Reddit is like a garbage tip for human thought. It has all the charm of a pus-filled boil and most of the people that post here are terrible people... and I really do mean most.

Dude, calm down.

I still have a polaroid of you and me from 1993/4 when you were filming "that thing you do" on my street and randomly asked the 11 year old kid on the set if you could use the bathroom in his house.

Did you find my secret message?

Scenario: JJ Abrams is making a reboot movie of The Next Generation. Do you want the role of Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, or Q?

The Borg. Nothing else.

What classic movie would you have loved to have worked on?

2001: A space odyssey

I grew up in a Somali refugee town (of less than 40,000 people nearly 10% of the pop is Somalian) so the whole piracy thing was a huge deal back home when it actually happened. I know the movie wasn't shot there, but did you learn anything interesting about the Somalian conflict or culture when shooting Captain Phillips?

Somalia is filled with good people trying to get by in a troubled place...

Have you ever been confused by somebody calling you Otm Shank?

No. Mot Skahn, yes.

Hi Tom,

Long time fan ever since I saw Turner and Hooch as a kid. Can you remember what it was like working with that beast of a dog?

I saw you in Edinburgh when you were filming the Da Vinci code. You were staying at the Balmoral hotel and I served you champagne but you seemed exasperated. Were you not feeling well or had had a bad day?

Hope you keep making movies for a long time to come and I look forward to seeing Captain Phillips in the theater.

Was it at the Scottish Reel party we had? I might have been exasperated but dont take it personally.

Hi, Mr. Hanks.

I'm having a hard time "closing the deal" with women. I'm really strong on the cold opening and I am able to keep them interested but when it come to asking for their phone number or asking them out on a date I have a hard time finishing the job.

Do you have any advice on my problem or perhaps ways to make this initial step into a relationship smoother? (Cite your sources please.)

Be a gentleman and tell the truth and things might be better for you. And, mustache? Shave it off!

Hi Tom, In Cloud Atlas which was your favorite character you got to play and why?

Loved that hotel desk clerk.

Hi Mr Hanks. How are you doing? How was your day?

I prefer this AMA to interviews!

Tom! I heard that you are a Cleveland Indians fan. Being a native Clevelander myself, any chance we'll be seeing you at the stadium for a playoff game this year?

No, but hope it's Tribe v. A's for the pennant.

Hi Mr. Hanks!

I'm sad. :(

Can you cheer me up ?

Sorry you are having a bad day. tomorrow will be better.

What was it like on the set of The 'Burbs?

Shot on the back lot at Universal -- take the tour and you will see the street. We shot in summer time from 12 noon to midnight. Like a block party.

What is the most crucial advice for becoming an actor?

Show up on time. Know your lines. Have and idea of what to do in the scene. the rest will take care of itself.

Mr Hanks, would you ever do a sequel to Apollo 13?

Apollo 14?

Mr. Short-Term Memory! You shouldn't have sat under that pear tree!

What are you talking about? Who? Huh? What was the question? Why am I typing this?

Tom, looking forward to Captain Phillips, but also looking forward to seeing you portray Walt Disney. I was wondering what sort of research you did on him, given that he was both a remarkable man but also one who had some complicated parts in his life.

Go to the Disney Family Museum at the presidio in SF!

Mr. Hanks,

I am a huge fan. Back in high school, in a program called AFJROtC, my instructor would make us watch Forrest Gump every year because your character portrayed the traits of perseverance, bravery, and honesty, among others. The thing was, we never got tired of it!

Despite watching the movie for ~2 years, one of my favorite movies is The Green Mile. My question for you would have to be what your favorite memory was in the making of the movie.

WE all loved each other on the Green Mile.

What music are you currently interested in?

Digging Bruno Mars!

Hey, Tom! Just to make it sure... who is the best smelling actor you have ever worked with?

Hands down, Peter Scolari.

My ex-girlfriends mother's name is Hanks, and they found out through a family tree that she was related to Abraham Lincoln's mother. I told her you were related to Lincoln's mother as well and to this day, she doesn't believe me. Can you please confirm or deny this?

True. Nancy Hanks.

How do you go to the bathroom in space?


The Terminal was the first movie I ever saw properly, in a cinema. Since then I've watched most of your movies and you've become my favourite actor! Your films always inspired me and brought me joy even in my sadder moments.

I don't have any fancy questions, I'm just wondering... what was the last song that was stuck in your head?

Thanks, T.Hanks!

It's a Great Big Beautiful tomorrow from Disney's Carousel of Progress.

If you were a Friends character, which would you be and why?

The naked guy out the window across the back alley.

Forrest Gump is one of the few movies (possibly the only, I have a bad memory) that makes me laugh and cry every time. Congrats on that performance. And if you are still in contact with them, feel free to tell the screenwriters and authors how great I felt it was. Recent AMA-er Gary Sinise was similarly amazing(Lt. Dan was my favorite character, sorry...).

So, do you ever get emotional about yours or others' performances, or the script? And I'm not talking about fake crying or anything. I understand post-production effects and soundtracks contribute to the feel of a scene, but in Forrest Gump it was the meaning behind the characters' actions that did it for me.

When LT. Dan introduced Forrest to his wife, with his titanium legs, i burst into tears...

Are you doing this AMA on a typewriter?

I wish.

Looking at how your life turned out, do you think you were like a feather in the wind, or you picked your own destiny?


How long was your oscar taped to your car ?

That was an Emmy, and only for about 20 feet.

Mr. Hanks, reddit recently heard you love typewriters. Any chance you might share what sparked your fascination with the collection?

That glorious sound.

Do you carry a hankie Mr Hanks?

Forget too often.


I have not been in Coronado since 1983.

Hi Tom

Great movies, cheers!

Was it your idea to do a reddit AMA?

Scott Rudin suggested it and my kids said I had to. I like it.

Tom, in case my first comment gets buried, and it will, I thought I'd make a more specific one. My mom and dad worked at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival during the summer of '79. My mom, Sara O'Neil, was the house manager, and the two of you were mutual friends with a woman named Joanne VanDeVort. If yo see this, my dad's birthday was this month, and it would just make his year to know that you remember them at all. Thanks so much!

Did Jo work in the box office? she once told me her pipes burst in winter.

I don't want to bring this IAmA down but I feel this is not tom hanks typing to us and if it is then i'm disappointed to say the least.

Chill out. It's me. here, I'll prove it to you_ I am Tom Hanks.

Hi Tom. If you had the chance to travel back in time, any place at any moment but only for 15 minutes - where would you go and what would you do? Have a nice one.

I would go back to NYC in 1939 for the smells and food and people -- to see the City when it was at a different scale than now. to see the worlds fair and eat Cheesecake at Lindy's. I'd only want 24 hours to do it all.

that's it, folks, I've liked typing to you all! gotta go to lunch....

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Tom Hanks conducted on Reddit on 2013-09-30. The Reddit AMA can be found here.