Tom Hanks Reveals His Extraordinary Retirement Plan

Tom Hanks says he will not retire as long as he finds "good" and "fun" roles, but also will not work if he doesn't.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

tom hanks

Tom Hanks has revealed that he will only retire from acting if he cannot find any roles that are either “good” or “fun.” Per Variety, the Polar Express actor said that he plans to keep working indefinitely, but is highly selective in his choices; the actor acknowledged that his position in Hollywood allows him greater freedom in deciding which movies he is involved with. Specifically, Tom Hanks said that “Rita and I talk about it all the time, which is there’s only two reasons go to work: It’ll be good or it’ll be fun. And if it’s neither one of those, I’ll stay home until the cows come on. I don’t need to do anything.”

The two-time Academy Award winner seems to have been discussing retirement in the context of his new movie A Man Called Otto, in which his grumpy character Otto Anderson has been pushed into early retirement. The movie is an adaptation of Swedish author Fredrik Backman’s novel A Man Called Ove (previously adapted as a 2015 film in Sweden) and Tom Hanks notes that the original character left the workforce due to Sweden’s mandatory retirement age, while his character Otto was more passively pushed out. 

tom hanks

There is pretty much no chance that Tom Hanks has to worry about being pushed out of his own profession, being a dependable box office draw since his breakthrough role as a leading man in the fantasy comedy Big in 1988. Since then, he won back-to-back Academy Awards for 1993’s Philadelphia and 1994’s Forrest Gump, while still consistently making huge popular hits like The Da Vinci Code (and its sequels) and the Toy Story franchise. Basically, if there was ever anyone that has job security, it is Tom Hanks.

A Man Called Otto also stars Tom Hanks’ son Truman as a younger version of the character in flashbacks, marking the first time the two have worked together. Hanks’ other sons Colin and Chester are also both involved in show business (to greater or lesser degrees), putting the family under the lens of “nepotism babies” that has recently become a cultural talking point. 

Tom Hanks also recently starred in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic film Elvis alongside Austin Butler (soon to star in Dune Part 2) as the legendary musician’s notorious manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The role was a rare villainous one for Hanks, who is generally regarded as “America’s dad,” which reportedly was one of the reasons why he wanted to play the Dutch-born businessman. He also recently reprised the role of David S. Pumpkins for Saturday Night Live, who is also a villain in his own way.

Tom Hanks will next appear in Asteroid City, the upcoming science fiction film by director Wes Anderson. The immense cast of the film will include Anderson regulars like Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum, and even more first-timers like Hanks, Margot Robbie, Hong Chau, and Maya Hawke. Tom Hanks will also be reuniting with frequent collaborator Robert Zemeckis for a comic book adaptation titled Here.