Tom Hanks is regarded as an American cultural icon and one of the most popular and recognizable film stars in the world. His films have touched the hearts of millions of fans all over the world, with the likes of Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and more changing lives. Still, there is one kind of role he does not want to re-visit.
While speaking to The New York Times, Tom Hanks reflected on his Hollywood career so far. Hanks talked about his film called ‘Philadelphia,” and how one of the reasons that people flocked to that film is because a straight man was playing the main gay role.
“Let’s address, ‘Could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now?’ No, and rightly so. The whole point of Philadelphia was don’t be afraid. One of the reasons people weren’t afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man.
Tom Hanks won an Academy Award for best actor for his performance in the 1993 film, which also starred Denzel Washington. Hanks played Andrew Beckett, a lawyer who hides his AIDS diagnosis and his homosexuality from his coworkers because he is afraid it could compromise his career.
The movie was one of the earliest mainstream depictions of the HIV/AIDS crisis. As Hanks was already beloved by then, he believed he was chosen because he was the easiest choice. Hanks then explained why he’d never portray a gay man ever again.
“One of the reasons people weren’t afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man. We’re beyond that now, and I don’t think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy.
It’s not a crime, it’s not boohoo, that someone would say we are going to demand more of a movie in the modern realm of authenticity,” he said. “Do I sound like I’m preaching? I don’t mean to.”
Tom Hanks also recently sparked health concerns after his arm was uncontrollably shaking. We’ll have to see what’s next in store for the legendary actor.
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