Never Forget: Tom Hanks Actually Had A Drag Career Before Making It In Hollywood

The 80s were a different time.

Breaking into Hollywood is like trying to win the lottery, the odds are stacked wildly against you. Even for most who managed to “make it”, they’ve had to work their asses off to get to where they are.

Now Tom Hanks is one of the most talented and beloved actors ever but even he had to tough it out for a few years before breaking through.

But where as most actors do things like wait tables, act in lame commercials, and teach classes, Tom did something completely out of left field: he sorta had a drag career that lasted for about a year.

Like most actors starting out in Hollywood, Tom did a bunch of random projects before catching something of a break when he was cast as the lead in the 1980 sitcom Bosom Buddies, which depicts two men needing to cross-dress as women so they can live in the one apartment they can afford.

Yeah. The 80s were a different time when it came to sitcom premises.

This meant that Tom (and his fellow co-star Peter Scolari) had to basically dress in drag for a good part of the show’s run, which lasted about two years, 37 episodes, and some pretty unforgiving critics (though they thought the banter between Tom and Peter was pretty good).

So in a way, Tom Hanks legit had a drag career for about a year.

Starring in a poorly-received TV show where crossdressing is a major thing would normally kill someone’s Hollywood career but Tom managed to emerge unscatched as he landed the lead in Splash not long afterwards.

Whereas most people would probably try and forget about something like Bosom Buddies, Tom looks back upon it with fond memories because of course he bloody would, he’s just that type of person.

He may be rocking the Mr. Rogers look these days, but never forget that brief period of time when he crossdressed for a TV show.

The Only Thing That Saved Us From A Cooked Forrest Gump Sequel Was 9/11

Interesting is perhaps the nicest thing you could say about the canceled film.

Ah Forrest Gump, the smash-hit 1994 film that won Tom Hanks a second Oscar, spawned several iconic quotes, and made the internet hate anyone named Jenny.

But as studios are wont to do with any film that makes a gajillion dollars at the box office, there were plans to make a sequel to Forrest Gump but that got completely scuppered because of 9/11.

This was perhaps the best outcome for that project because the idea for a sequel was seriously cooked.

You said it, buddy.

Forrest Gump screenwriter Eric Roth recently chatted to Yahoo about the cancelled sequel project and some of the stuff that would’ve been in that film, tentatively titled Gump & Co., is pure nightmare fuel.

The movie would’ve started with little Forrest Jr. getting AIDS due to his late mother’s illness and that would’ve led to a “funny sequence” in which tied into the desegregation busing that was happening in Florida at the time the movie was set.

“It was gonna start with his little boy having AIDS. And people wouldn’t go to class with him in Florida. We had a funny sequence where they were [desegregation] busing in Florida at the same time, so people were angry about either the busing, or [their] kids having to go to school with the kid who had AIDS. So there was a big conflict.”

Uh huh. Funny.

And that was far from the only bonkers thing that would’ve happened to Forrest in the sequel.

There was an odd sequence where he was in the back of O.J. Simpson’s white Bronco during that infamous 1994 car chase, danced with Princess Diana just before she died in 1997, and a tragic arc where Forrest befriends a Native American woman only for her to die in the 1995 Oklahoma bombings.

Needless to say that last scene wouldn’t have went down well with anyone after 9/11.

“He meets on a bus a Native American woman and finds his calling, as a bingo caller on a reservation. And the big event in that, which you could see was diminished only in tragedy, I guess, because it’s the same tragedy, but every day he’d go wait for his Native American partner.

“She taught nursery school at a government building in Oklahoma City. And he was sitting on the bench waiting for her to have lunch and all of a sudden the building behind him blows up.”

Needless to say that some people weren’t particularly enamoured with the idea of Gump & Co. and what was going to be in it.

As for why the movie was cancelled rather than rewritten, Roth explained that he literally turned in a draft script to the studio on September 10, 2001, and when the attacks happened the next day, he, Tom, and director Robert Zemeckis felt the movie had no meaning any more.

“Literally, I turned it in the day before 9/11. And Tom and I and Bob got together on 9/11 to sort of commiserate about how life was in America and how tragic it was.

“And we looked at each other and said, ‘This movie has no meaning anymore, in that sense.’”

That’s totally fair enough. Forrest Gump represented optimism during the toughest of times and it would’ve been near-impossible to recreate that magic in the aftermath of 9/11.

As for the movie idea itself, it probably would’ve been a terrible idea to make it anyway. Whereas Forrest Gump was hopeful, the sequel just feels depressing without any light at the end of the tunnel.

As Forrest Gump turns 25, it’s perhaps for the best that we all still remember Forrest as the smiling guy with a heart of a gold rather than the guy with tragedy looming over him no matter where he turns or runs.

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