Few actors have been as influential as Tom Hanks when it comes to acting and roles that have influenced generations.
In everything from “Forrest Gump” to “Philadelphia,” the 64-year-old actor has starred, winning numerous roles and awards along the way.
Over the years, the “Toy Story” actor has also been lucky to work with countless co-stars, including, to name a few, Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts. There was, however, one actor with whom he did not want to work. It would have saved him from one of the biggest flops of his career if he had done so.
How Tom Hanks became famous
After his parents divorced in 1960, Hanks grew up in Concord, California, with his single father, Amos Mefford Hanks, a traveling chef. Since his father had to find jobs, by the time he was 10, Hanks had lived in at least 10 separate homes.
However, in college, where he studied theater and eventually met actor and director Vincent Dowling, the “Splash” actor found his way.
Hanks interned for years with Dowling after dropping out of college, soaking up all he could.
Eventually, before moving to New York City in 1979 and landing his first film role in a low-budget horror film, he gained popularity in the Cleveland theater scene. In the ABC sitcom Bosom Buddies, he then moved to LA and landed a starring role, and his career took off.
His next movies, “Splash” (1984) and “Big” (1988), made a household name for him. Not all films by Hanks, however, were a resounding success.
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A big flop for Tom Hanks was The Bonfire of the Vanities.
In 1990, alongside Melanie Griffith and Bruce Willis, Hanks starred in Brian De Palma’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” The movie was based on Tom Wolfe’s 1984 novel of the same name, but it was a disappointment with critics and at the box office, grossing just $15 million on a budget of $47 million.
There was a lot of worry about Griffith, her appearance and her known substance abuse. In fact, for the role of Maria Ruskin, the mistress of Hanks’ character, many people did not want her.
In reality, De Palma had lobbied for the role of the then 19-year-old aspiring actress Uma Thurman. In Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Stephen Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons, Thurman had just had two outstanding performances.
In her book The Devil’s Candy: The Anatomy of a Hollywood Fiasco through Yahoo! Entertainment, De Palma insisted on a screen test between Hanks and Thurman, according to journalist Julie Salamon. “Uma is so beautiful,” he said. “Like Veronica Lake.”
Tom Hanks refused to cooperate with Uma Thurman.
Hanks thought that Thurman was much too young. However, Salamon had another reason why the “Greyhound” star refused to collaborate with the “Pulp Fiction” actress.
After the audition, Hanks told De Palma, according to The Devil’s Candy, “When she walked in, I was stunned.” “She’s very attractive, almost erotic.” She had a definite sense of the game.
But Hanks had a change of heart only a few days later. “I just can’t play with Uma,” he’s quoted as saying. It’s obvious in The Devil’s Candy that the acting giant was unhappy with his young co-star and determined that if anyone else played the part, it would be in everyone’s best interest. It turned out that it was always best for Thurman, because everything from the filming to the release of the film w.