Tom Hanks is a legend of the game, known for some of the all time greats. However, Tom Hanks thinks it’s one comedy movie that isn’t necessarily remembered among his best work which he has to thank for his whole career.
Speaking to the New York Times in 1997, alongside Ben Affleck, Hanks reflected on his work up to that point and was eager to share his experience with the young Affleck who – at that point – had just come off of working on Good Will Hunting. When Affleck asked what Hanks thought the tipping point was when he became a certified A-lister, Hanks had a surprising and simple answer.
“It was Splash,” he said. “This one thing that everybody else turned down, and based on that, suddenly I’m a guy that people want in their movie. That was it.”
Released in 1984, Splash is a rom com with a heavy heaping of fantasy (Hanks’ love interest is a mermaid) which performed decently upon its release. Hanks, (who’s only previous credit was the forgotten 1980 horror movie He Knows You’re Alone) stars as Allen Bauer, who falls in love with Daryl Hannah as Madison.
Though critics enjoyed the movie for its humor and the chemistry between Hanks and Hannah, Splash hasn’t entered the ranked of the best Tom Hanks movies and even plenty of Hanks aficionados will not have seen the movie.
Still, it showed what he was capable of, and as the actor recalls it was the performance which would go on to ignite Hollywood’s ongoing obsession with him. Soon after Splash, Hanks starred in the likes of Big and Turner and Hooch, before proving he was capable of more dramatic roles in some of his best movies including Philadelphia and Apollo 13.
Now, everyone knows that Hanks is capable of just about anything, though drama and comedies are his mainstays. He does also have a rule against starring as villains, but we’re not going to argue against that.
For more on Hanks, find out why he said Clint Eastwood treated him like a horse and see which movie he’s glad is now a cult classic. Or, take a look at our guide to all the new movies coming in 2024, and see our picks for the best Steven Spielberg movies to learn more about his collaborator. You can also keep up with all the new anime coming soon.