Tom Hanks Poster

Quotes (61)

  • 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".
  • If you're funny, if there's something that makes you laugh, then everyday'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?
  • [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 (1981) and National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) kinds of things.
  • 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.
  • [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.
  • [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.
  • [on Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986)] Disappeared without a trace, even though it's probably the most visually beautiful movie I've made.
  • [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.
  • [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.
  • [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.
  • 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.
  • [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.
  • [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.
  • [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.
  • 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 (1984) 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.
  • [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.
  • [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".
  • [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.
  • [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?
  • [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".
  • You learn more from the things that don't work out than the things that do. I worked harder on Turner & Hooch (1989) than I did on 80% of the films I've made.
  • [When asked why we glorify acting the way we do] I think it's the basic need for all of human kind to be a part of something bigger than themselves because as actors we get to create that.
  • [on turning 60, and what his advice would be to his younger self would be]: Floss, Do something about your blood sugar now you idiot and just learn how to relax.
  • One of the things that I do in acting and movies is I assemble a very intricate backstory, the stuff that happens before the movie. I don't tell anybody this. I don't write it down. It's not like I get together with the director or screenwriter and say "You know what this guy went through?" You don't do that. But you put it together in your head so that every single movie moment that you are called upon to recreate, to make manifest on the set, has come from a specific place.
  • [on Harvey Weinstein] We're at a watershed moment, this is a sea change. His last name will become a noun and a verb. It will become an identifying moniker for a state of being for which there was a before and an after.
  • [in an interview about The 'Burbs (1989)] The suburbs are supposed to be as idyllic a place as you go to live, you have your house and you have your land and you stay there and it's a great place to retire to, it's a great place to raise a family. That's what the suburbs are supposed to be but in fact in the last 20 years or so, the suburbs have become this place where anything can happen. You have these neighbors that nobody knows what they're up to, they could be, you know, anything from insomniacs who are lazy, or you know, suburban psycho killers who have a death factory in their basement.
  • If you're going to make a movie based on a true story, why not knuckle down, do the research, find out what actually happened, and start from there? Otherwise, it's just one big, fat, fake movie
  • I don't cause riots, but I do cause confusion. People freeze when they spot me.
  • A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown.
  • The same way that I know that I'll never do a movie as good or as celebrated as Forrest Gump (1994), I know that I'll never do a movie as bad as The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990).
  • I've made an awful lot of movies that didn't make any sense, and didn't make any money, but that doesn't alter the work that goes into it, or even what your opinion of it is. Like, I made a movie that altered my entire consciousness - Cloud Atlas (2012) - I thought, jeez, this thing is so fab; it's the only movie I've been in that I've seen more than twice. And it didn't do any business. And there's nothing you can do about it. And you must allow yourself a week of thinking, jeez, I'm so bummed out. But that's not the only reason to do it. It's lovely when it all works and you get ballyhooed. But if it's 50/50, you're way ahead of the game. In reality, I think it's more like 80/20; 80% of what you do doesn't work.