Tom Hanks has revealed that he initially doubted the importance of the now-famous bench scenes in “Forrest Gump.”
The “Elvis” star, 65, spoke about the iconic movie in a new interview with CinemaBlend‘s “ReelBlend” podcast.
“I will tell you, in ‘Forrest Gump,’ all the stuff that we shot on the park bench in Savannah, Georgia, we were just shooting fodder for a possible narrative piece of it,” Hanks said.
“And I said to [director] Bob [Zemeckis], ‘Is anyone going to care about this nut sitting on a [bench]? What is this? No one knows what’s in this [box], I mean…’”
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Despite the actor’s doubts, Zemeckis pushed on. “We ended up shooting, it was probably like, you know, 13 pages of dialogue that we had to shoot in a day and a half,” he recalled. “And so it was written on cue cards. I didn’t need the cue cards after a while because you get into it.”
“But Bob says, ‘I don’t know, it’s a minefield, Tom, it’s a minefield,” Hanks continued. “You never know what people are gonna take away from it!’ And it ends up being, you know, that thing.”
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Though unsure of the bench scenes, Hanks was never unsure about the movie’s prospects. He even went so far as to help finance some of the movie when Paramount Pictures refused to increase the budget.
“[Zemeckis] said ‘Well, this run is going to cost X amount of dollars.’ And it wasn’t cheap. And I said ‘OK,’” Hanks previously said, as IndieWire points out. “He said, ‘You and I are going to split that amount, and we’re going to give it back [to Paramount]. We’ll give you the money back, but you guys [Paramount] are going to have to share the profits a little bit more.’ Which the studio said ‘Fabulous, great, OK.’ And it was good for us, too.”
Hanks’ profits from “Forrest Gump” ended up totaling $65 million, thanks in big part to his earning a portion of the box office proceeds in exchange for fronting some of the production costs.