Speaking on In Depth With Graham Bensinger for an interview posted Wednesday, Hanks said that he and director Robert Zemeckis both paid for scenes to be shot in the movie when Paramount tightened the purse strings.
One of the scenes was the classic run across the country that Gump does in the middle of the film. Paramount said it was too expensive and could not be shot even though Zemeckis argued it was crucial, Hanks told Bensinger. When the studio did not budge, Zemeckis went to Hanks and told him he needed Hanks to trust him and back him.
“And he said, ‘Well, this run is going to cost X amount of dollars.’ And it wasn’t cheap. And I said, ‘OK’. 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.”
And then there was another instance when it happened, Hanks said, but he did not specify which scene. “They said, ‘The weather is such that we can’t get the insurance coverage on it,’ the studio said, ‘So you guys can’t shoot.’ And Bob and I said, ‘We’ll cover the insurance.’ And we did,” Hanks recalled.
Ultimately, those decisions earned Hanks an estimated $65 million when the film became a blockbuster.
The Oscar-winning actor also noted that he struggled with the character in the beginning, so much so that the footage from the first three days of shooting was scrapped.
“Bob said, ‘Look, I know what you are trying to do. I know how nervous you are and how self-conscious this can be before we get into the groove. But we’re not going to use any of these first three days because I don’t think you’ve got it. You haven’t got the character.’ And I said, ‘I don’t. I don’t. You’re right.’ And he just said, ‘Don’t try so hard.’ And from that, everything settled down in a moment’s notice.”
Watch the segment below.