Kurt Russell Had A Secret Role In Tom Hanks’ Blockbuster Award-Winning Movie

Kurt Russell provided the voice of Elvis in Tom Hanks' award-winning Forrest Gump.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Forrest Gump

Uncredited cameos in Hollywood are almost always fun, from Daniel Craig’s stormtrooper in The Force Awakens to Miley Cyrus having one line in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis hid a cameo in plain sight. During an interview with GQ, Kurt Russell revealed his uncredited brief role in the director’s award-winning film, Forrest Gump. In an odd bit of trivia that seems to be made up, Russel’s cameo also tied into his very first movie role.

Forrest Gump followed Tom Hanks character through his life, but also the history of America from the 50’s through the early 90’s, starting when he was a little boy with a certain musically inclined guest staying in his mother’s spare room. Shot from behind and out of focus, it was clear to the audience that they young man with a guitar and a distinctive drawl was the King of Rock and Roll, but what wasn’t clear is that Kurt Russell provided the famous voice.

The actual actor in the scene opposite young Forrest (Michael Conner Humphreys) was Peter Dobson, a character actor that has gone on to play an Elvis impersonator in multiple procedurals and dramas. Zemeckis, a friend of Kurt Russell, called up the actor for a favor, as allegedly the director was unhappy with Dobson’s voice.

As Kurt Russell relates it, “He didn’t like what it was and said, ‘I need something real bad.’ I didn’t know if, to be honest with you, Bob was doing it on the sly. In other words, the actor didn’t know.”

Kurt Russell’s voice is the one asking young Forrest to demonstrate his hip-centric dance moves, implying that it was from this chance meeting that Elvis Presley learned his famous hip-shaking dance moves. No one knew that was the voice of Snake Plissken until Russell’s admission, despite the real origin of the voice being a persistent Hollywood urban legend for decades. Until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Forrest Gump was the biggest movie that involved Kurt Russell, though it wasn’t even the first where he played Elvis.

Kurt Russell in Elvis (1979)

Even before he played Elvis, Kurt Russell acted with Elvis in his very first role, It Happened At The World’s Fair, as a young boy that kicks the greatest musician in American history right in the shin. Elvis was actually a fan of Russell’s father, Bing, a famous actor known for Bonzana and The Magnificent Seven, even asking the young Kurt questions about his famous parent. 16 years later, The Big Trouble In Little China star played Elvis in one of the first biopics made following the legend’s death.

Elvis, the 1979 television movie, not only had Kurt Russell playing his very first co-star in Hollywood, but it also marked the first time he worked with John Carpenter. Elvis was a massive success earning Russell a Primetime Emmy nomination for Best Actor In A Limited Series while scoring a monster rating of 27.3 million.

From acting with Elvis to playing Elvis, twice, Kurt Russell has had an amazing career now entering its sixth decade. The Deathproof star may be appearing in the upcoming Fast X, but he’ll also be playing a part in the AppleTV+ series Godzilla and the Titans, continuing the relaunched Monsterverse on the streaming platform.