Golden Globes: Tom Hanks Tears Up While Accepting Cecil B. DeMille Award

The 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' star reflected on his lengthy career during his acceptance speech, though he dismissed his eventual tears as being part of a cold: "I swear to God, I'm not nearly this emotional at home."

While accepting one of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's top honors at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night, Tom Hanks was visibly emotional as he addressed the audience — most of whom he said he'd "pay to see them get their cars washed." 

Hanks first thanked his family, including his children and wife, Rita Wilson, who were in attendance, before giving shout-outs to the plethora of actors he's worked with over the years.

"You're a dope if you don't steal from everybody you've ever worked with. And I have stolen from the likes of the people that only need one name, like Meryl, like Denzel, like Antonio, like Meg, like Julia, like Sally Field — even though that's two names, it's still one," he said. "But I have also been made better by watching the examples of some of the greatest actors that have ever walked the stage."

Hanks also paid tribute a number of directors and screenwriters, saying he has "never not been challenged or flummoxed or lost sleep" because of the work that was asked of him by them.

"It's those moments as an actor where everybody I've ever worked with has helped me get to that place — sometimes it's three o'clock in the morning and sometimes it's 11 at night — but you just have to somehow put it all together, have faith in what the process is, and go there," Hanks said.

"Going there" as an actor was something Hanks kept coming back to throughout his speech. He also recalled a story from acting camp when he was younger, where theater director Dan Sullivan shared a few of the rules that actors should live by: Show up on time, know the text and have a head full of ideas.

"That was the greatest lesson a young actor could possibly ever have first of all, the head full of ideas. Bring anything, try anything, they might not use it. If it stinks, they won't use it," Hanks said. "Knowing the text, and it's not just your lines, it's the whole thing. It's the red dot. It's the theme of the movie. You've got to know it. You might not be right in the opinion you bring to it, but you've got to come at it with some direction."

He added that "showing up on time is one of the greatest and most liberating acts you can give yourself in a movie."

The actor eventually closed out his remarks with a filmmaking analogy that brought the entire audience to its feet: "There is a saying in motion pictures, back when it was shot on film, that you could not move on to the next scene until the gate was good. ... Thank you, HFPA. Thank you all here. Thank you for all your inspiration and all of your work and all the struggle that you guys go through in order to hit the marks and tell the truth. I have checked the gate. The gate is good. Thank you."

Charlize Theron, who starred in the Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do!, presented the award to the actor. "The most undeniable thing that could be said about Tom Hanks is both deceptively simple and yet overwhelmingly true: He just makes the world a better place," she said.

As an eight-time winner and 16-time nominee, Hanks is certainly no stranger to the Golden Globes. In addition to receiving this year's Cecil B. DeMille Award, the actor was also in contention in the best actor in a supporting role in any motion picture category for his portrayal of Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Hanks' last Globe win was in 2013 for the limited TV series Game Change, though he's since been nominated for the projects Captain Phillips, Olive Kitteridge and The Post

"The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is proud to bestow the 2020 Cecil B. DeMille Award to Tom Hanks," HFPA president Lorenzo Soria said in September when making the initial announcement. "For more than three decades, he’s captivated audiences with rich and playful characters that we’ve grown to love and admire. As compelling as he is on the silver screen, he’s equally so behind the camera as a writer, producer and director. We’re honored to include Mr. Hanks with such luminaries as Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, and Barbra Streisand, to name a few."

Other recent recipients include Denzel Washington, Woody Allen, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty and last year's honoree, Jeff Bridges.

The 77th annual Golden Globes aired live on NBC, with Ricky Gervais hosting for a fifth time.

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