In terms of Hollywood standing and career resume, there are few other actors or actresses in the same class as Tom Hanks. He’s had an almost singularly successful run, playing some of the most notable roles ever, winning multiple awards, and carrying an iconic standing with him for decades. And it’s nice to know that he can still have fun with some of his roles, acknowledging that there might have been some silliness along the way. It’s what it means to be an entertainer after all and that’s just what Hanks did the other day when he brought back one of his most famous “co-stars” into the fold.
While at the Cleveland Guardians’ first home game of the season on Friday, Tom Hanks was asked to throw out the first pitch for the game, an honor typically bestowed on local celebrities or famous fans of the team. Hanks has been a fan of the Cleveland MLB team (previously the Indians) his whole life and has been part of the campaign to usher in the name change for the club. So when he walked to the mound to do the honor, it was pretty hilarious to see his Castaway co-star and friend Wilson, the volleyball that Hanks talked to for the better part of the island film. Check out the video and how Tom Hanks brought his companion onto the big stage:
Tom Hanks walks to the mound and presents Wilson to the crowd before picking up the baseball to throw out the first pitch. Unfortunately, that’s when Wilson starts to blow away in the breeze, prompting Hanks to get and fetch his friend, something he wasn’t able to do in Castaway. This goes on for a bit with the wind clearly not cooperating and Hanks playing up the moment as if Wilson is an actual living being, something he did deftly and classically in the original movie. Finally, Tom Hanks throws a strike and they walk off waiting for Wilson to tag along. It’s a silly moment all things considered but a cool throwback to the movie.
Castaway came out back in 2000 and stars Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland, a FedEx employee who’s on board a transport plane when it crash-lands, killing everyone on board except Noland who washes ashore on an island and spends the next four years working to survive with things on the island as well as what washed up from the plane in the wake of the crash. One of those things is the volleyball Noland affectionally names Wilson because of the brand. It begins a story of survival and humanism in the face of despair and loneliness that earned Tom Hanks a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards. The film made a whopping $430 million at the box office and became something of a cultural touchpoint at the time of its release.
Next up we’ll see Tom Hanks in Elvis, the biopic about the famous singer in which Hanks will play Colonel Tom Parker. And then he’s set to star in the live-action adaptation of Pinocchio in which he’ll play Geppetto. Maybe next time we see him throw out a first pitch it will be with one of these co-stars.