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Tom Hanks dipped into his own pocket to get crucial 'Forrest Gump' scenes shot

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Tom Hanks embarks on one of cinema's most famous runs in 'Forrest Gump'. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images)
Tom Hanks embarks on one of cinema's most famous runs in Forrest Gump. (Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images)

Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis had to put their money where their mouths were in order to get Forrest Gump made — shelling out their own cash for several important scenes.

Hanks revealed in an interview for In Depth With Graham Bensinger that the famous scene of Forrest running across the country was deemed too expensive by Paramount.

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The studio refused to fund the sequence, even when Zemeckis pressed them on its importance, and so he turned to his Oscar-winning leading man.

Hanks said: “[Zemeckis] said 'well, this run is going to cost X amount of dollars.' And it wasn't cheap.

“And I said 'okay'. 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.'“

Tom Hanks in 1994 movie 'Forrest Gump'. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images)
Tom Hanks in 1994 movie Forrest Gump. (Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images)

Paramount agreed to those terms and Hanks ultimately earned somewhere in the region of $65m (£51m) for the movie, which won six Oscars — including Hanks’s second successive Best Actor trophy.

The movie became an enormous financial success, earning $677m (£531m) at the global box office.

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Hanks said a similar arrangement was made for another scene, in which Paramount declined to pay for added insurance coverage to shoot in extreme weather.

Actor and director again teamed up to cover the extra cost, enabling the production to move forward and get the scene in the can.

Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis with the Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 5, 2013. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Palm Springs Film Festival)
Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis with the Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2013. (Getty Images for Palm Springs Film Festival)

Hanks further revealed that he was unable to get the character right during the early days of shooting on the movie, which led to Zemeckis binning three days of footage.

The 64-year-old said he agreed with the director’s suggestion that he hadn’t quite “got it” yet, but that “everything settled down in a moment's notice” once he had discussed this with Zemeckis.

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Hanks and Zemeckis have since worked together on several occasions, including Cast Away and The Polar Express.

Most recently, the star has entered talks to play the role of Geppetto in a live-action take on Pinocchio that the director is helming for Disney.