Tom Hanks has been in a number of great movies, but he’s probably still best known for his role in the 1994 classic Forrest Gump.
During an interview with Graham Bensinger, Hanks talked about how he and director Robert Zemeckis seemed to believe in the film more than Paramount did.
The studio was being tight with their money during the filming, and at certain points, Hanks and Robert had to pay for things out of their own pockets. Hanks said the scene of Gump running across the country wouldn’t have happened if Paramount had their way.
They thought the scene was too expensive, so they told Robert to cut it.
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.
They were forced to pay for another scene as well, though he did not reveal which one. And while it was a risky move for Hanks at the time, it turned out to be a smart decision because he ended up making over $60 million when the film became a worldwide hit.
Another fun tidbit? Hanks admits he struggled with the character so much at first that the first three days of shooting were 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.