Tom Hanks Opens Up About the Two Moments In His Career When He Realized He Could Finally Do What He Wanted In Hollywood

Tom Hanks’ Hollywood career has been one to admire for numerous young actors. He’s done every genre and won every accolade under the sun. He’s come a long way from his sitcom start on Bosom Buddies. Hanks spent his early career doing comedy after comedy. While they feed his pockets and family, the two-time Oscar winner began to grow tired of doing comedies by the late 1980s. But his film career experienced a seismic shift in the 1990s. The Elvis star recalled the two moments in his career when he realized he could finally do what he wanted in Hollywood.

Of course. Hanks’ 1980s heyday was filled with classic comedies like Splash, Big, and The Money Pit, just to name a few. He’s been open about his misses during that period as well. But the acting legend was ready to show his range to moviegoers. Hanks decided to stop accepting romantic comedy scripts after a successful run of them. At the same time, director Penny Marshall came to him about a little-known project A League of Their Own. The Sully actor revealed how the meeting with Marshall change his career outlook.

But I was fortunate in that my sense of self and artistic thirst grew at the same time. I had done enough romantic leads in enough movies and had experienced enough compromise to say, ‘I’m not even going to read those scripts anymore.’ So, then you hold out for something that represents more of the artist you want to be. When Penny Marshall came to me on A League of Their Own, I said, ’Penny, this is written for a guy who’s older than I am. The character is in his 40s and washed up. ’She said, ‘That’s why I want you. Because this guy should have been great until he was 40 and wasn’t.’ I went Aaaah. Before that a director had never said something to me like, ‘Come up with a reason why you’re 36, broken down, and managing a woman’s baseball team.’ Then it was, Katie, bar the door! I was looking for more of that from then on.

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