Is he honestly that genuine and kind? Tom Hanks is one of America’s most popular stars, in part because he seems to darn nice. He has also avoided tabloid scandals, seems to be a hard worker, generous, kind to his children and others.
People set out to find out if there are any skeletons in the Oscar winner’s closet, but it seems … yep, he really is that nice. The mag interviewed friends and coworkers, and here’s what they “found.”
Longtime friend and collaborator, Ron Howard directed Hanks in 1984’s Splash and 1995’s Apollo 13, claims that while he’s a nice guy, everyone’s obsession with that diverts them from his skill as an actor.
“He’s that good,” says Howard. “He’s like one of those athletes who is so effortless that you don’t realize that he’s the game-changer.”
The 63-year-old told People that blending in is part of his thing. “I like being part of an ensemble. Anybody can make it a miserable day by being cranky or self-centered, by thinking it’s all about them instead of all about the whole.”
Howard goes on: “He loves smart people saying smart things. Whether he likes what they’re saying or not. … He invites honesty from those who are close to him, not in a self-flagellating, neurotic way, but with a clear-eyed intelligence.”
Julia Roberts says Hanks just oozes enthusiasm.
“What doesn’t change about Tom, he is as happy and excited as ever. About work, about friendships,” says Roberts, who costarred with him in two films. “It doesn’t change or wane over time.”
Maura Tierney, who starred with Hanks in Broadway’s Lucky Guy says “he’s not afraid to be a goofball,” adding, she would often find “like, five selfies of Tom making goofy faces on my phone. He would take selfies if anyone left their phone lying around.”
Matthew Rhys understands how grossed out everyone is by Hanks’ greatness.
“It’s like dear god, it’s sickening!” jokes Rhys. “I get it, you’ve got the world’s generosity and acting talent, that’s fine, but he’s a real mind. He has a great mind, which is equally as infuriating.”
Hanks’ A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is out now.