Tom Hanks, one of the most respected Academy Award-winning actors, has always been one of the most beloved Hollywood actors of his era. According to Indian Express, Tom Hanks was the object of affection for a younger Charlize Theron.
— dna (@dna) April 7, 2016
Theron watched Hanks during her childhood and teenage years, and she admitted to dreaming about herself in place of the female leads in Hanks’ romantic movies. In particular, she dreamt of taking Meg Ryan’s roles in Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.
Charlize Theron spoke on her giant childhood crush for Tom Hanks.
“I grew up watching the movies of Tom Hanks. He was like a ‘boyfriend’. When I was eight, I would walk around like I was one of the girls in a Tom Hanks movie.”
— Gossips RTNews (@GossipsRTNews) April 6, 2016
She went on to joke that her childhood crush on Tom Hanks ended up with her having a restraining order from his wife, Rita Wilson.
As fate would have it, Charlize Theron played a minor role in That Thing You Do (only her second credited on-screen role), which was directed by Tom Hanks, who also played a role in the film in addition to writing the script. As Mental Floss reported, Tom Hanks was so impressed with Theron that he jokes that he “discovered” her.
After her audition, Tom Hanks reportedly remarked “She’s got it! That girl is going to be somebody.”
— ME Studios (@MEFilmStudios) August 7, 2014
Apart from Theron, Tom Hanks is also a firm favorite of Late Late Show host James Corden. According to the Daily Mail, James Corden and Tom Hanks were seen having dinner together on a double date last month.
Hanks and Corden were with their respective wives, Rita Wilson and Julia Carey. James Corden sported a black pullover, jeans, and flat shoes while Tom Hanks wore a very smart casual blazer over a white shirt partnered with jeans and brown leather shoes. Coincidentally, those who spotted James Corden and Tom Hanks enjoying dinner with their wives also noticed that Orlando Bloom was in the same restaurant at the same time.
International Tom Hanks Day is a thing now, apparently. According to Red Eye Chicago, Tom Hanks is the “eighth wonder of the world,” and his legion of fans seem to agree.
International Tom Hanks Day apparently started 13 years ago thanks to a man named Kevin Turk, when he and his friends decided to get together to watch a few Tom Hanks films while drinking Dr. Pepper and rum.
Kevin Turk spoke about how the Tom Hanks celebration began.
“It kind of started unbeknownst to us. We started this way before Netflix, so I don’t know if we just had a lot of Tom Hanks movies or what. We weren’t even massive Tom Hanks fans… It was just a fun thing to do.”
— Chicago Tribune A&E (@ChiTribEnt) April 2, 2016
Tom Hanks’ assistant was one of the first to know about the event and sent them some cans of Dr. Pepper along with some Tom Hanks goodies, and the group was so touched by the gesture that they responded with an unexpectedly kind gesture of their own: auctioning off the Tom Hanks items they had been sent and donating the proceeds to Lifeline Energy, a charity that Hanks supports himself which specializes in providing solar powered and wind-up media players and radios for classrooms in Africa.
Turk said that he and his friends felt that they had done a good thing with how they chose to handle what they call International Tom Hanks Day and that the annual celebration has come a long way from its origins.
Kevin Turk spoke on the state of the event currently.
“Last year, we had 500 people show up, pay a door fee and just hang out.”
International Tom Hanks Day is not completely international yet, but it has come a long way in the 13 years since inception. In addition to being celebrated in Chicago, the Tom Hanks appreciation event is also celebrated in parts of Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, and even Australia.
[Photos by Theo Wargo, Mark Von Holden/Getty Images]