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One Halloween during the mid-’90s, an unlikely trio found themselves trick-or-treating together in Georgetown: Tom Hanks, Sean Penn and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“[We] were in Washington, D.C., on Halloween,” Hanks recounted in a BAFTA interview on Saturday. “And it just so happened Arnold Schwarzenegger was in town doing True Lies … so me and my kids, Sean and Robin [Wright] and their kids, and Arnold and his kids went out trick-or-treating together, in Georgetown. If anyone was to come out of their house to see who’s on the sidewalk, they’re going to win the celebrity lottery here. Arnold was saying to us, ‘Come on, hurry up, you snooze you lose, get up there with your candy.’ ”
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This was one of many anecdotes Hanks relayed at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts event held Oct. 19 at its London headquarters. Hosted by BBC presenter Francine Stock, Hanks told stories from his time shooting films like Turner & Hooch, Splash and Big to Sleepless in Seattle and Forrest Gump, according to the official transcript from the event.
During the discussion, part of BAFTA’s “A Life in Pictures” series, Hanks was asked by Stock about the “American Heroes/Everyman” perception that he has been associated with.
“It’s me. I don’t know how else to put it! At the end of the day, I’m as confused by this inexplicable thing that’s happened. I am not, by and large, a bigger-than-life persona,” he replied.
He later added: “I think I view myself as a guy who if I had been a good student, I could be a historian. And if I had been good at science, I could be a doctor. I’m not good at any of those things, so I’m an actor.”
Stock also queried Hanks about the enduring appeal of the Forrest Gump character and the Robert Zemeckis film.
“Every time I walk into somebody’s living room for the first time, they always say, ‘Son of a gun, Forrest Gump in my living room,’ ” Hanks replied. “Elevator rides with people: ‘Oh, I can’t believe, Forrest Gump in the same elevator as I am.’ I get it, I get it.”
He later reiterated: “Movies like that, that’s bottling lightning man. It will be with me forever, and I always welcome that moment, ‘I can’t believe it, Forrest Gump is in the same Chinese restaurant as I am!’ ”
Hanks had been in London earlier in the month for the premiere of Captain Phillips, in which he plays the title character who attempts to fend off hijackers targeting his container ship. The film was released wide in the U.S. on Oct. 11 and opened the BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 9. Saving Mr. Banks, in which the actor portrays Walt Disney, will close the London fest.
There was a larger point for the actor to bring up the Halloween-night story with Penn and Schwarzenegger, having to do with Hanks’ directorial debut That Thing You Do.
The actor explained: “Sean had directed a movie called The Indian Runner at that point, and I said, ‘Jeez what was that like?’ He said every actor should direct, just to find out how hard that job was.”
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