Tom Hanks Thought His Most Iconic Scene Was Unnecessary

By James Brizuela | Published

tom hanks

Tom Hanks has been in some iconic films throughout his illustrious career, but none more iconic than Forrest Gump. The film remains to be one of the best heartfelt stories ever told. Throughout the film, there are plenty of moments that have stuck with fans throughout the years, including the time in which Forrest is telling his life story to strangers on benches while he waits for the bus to reunite with Jenny. Though those scenes were some of the best moments in the film, Hanks thought they were unnecessary. According to the actor, “I will tell you, in Forrest Gump, all the stuff that we shot on the park bench in Savannah, Georgia, we were just shooting fodder for a possible narrative piece of it. And I said to Bob (Zemeckis), ‘Is anyone going to care about this nut sitting on a (bench)? What is this? No one knows what’s in this (box) I mean…'”

Apparently, Tom Hanks has spoken to director Robert Zemeckis and claimed that these bus stop bench scenes were “fodder”, and he wasn’t sure that anyone was going to care at all that Forrest Gump was speaking about his life through flashbacks. However, this proved to be one of the most important aspects of the film. Also, it was the place where he delivered one of the most iconic lines in cinema history, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Despite Hanks having reservations about the scenes that were shot in those moments, the film ended up being wildly successful in every sense of the word. Forrest Gump made $678 million worldwide against a $55 million budget. The film also landed six Oscar wins, including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role.

There is plenty to appreciate about Forrest Gump, but when Tom Hanks was speaking to the random patrons on the bus bench, those moments held some of the funniest and most charming lines in the film. For instance, when the man is done hearing about how Gump was a millionaire after leaving the war and starting Bubba Gump Shrimp. The guy laughs off the entire encounter, which is a great moment that also incorporates a great storytelling technique too. At that moment, the audience can begin to question if Forrest Gump is a reliable narrator. The idea is that he is, but to question it at that moment is great. It is unbelievable that he would fall his way into being a millionaire, but it does make sense considering all the random happenings the character had been in thus far.

Forrest Gump will go down as one of the best films ever made, and that has a lot to deal with how amazing of an actor Tom Hanks is. Though the consensus now is that actors with any sort of disabilities should portray those who have disabilities, Hanks was still spectacular in the role. The film even holds the #11 spot in the IMDB 250 best movies ever made category, which is a huge honor. Well, that and the six Oscars the film won too. We can all be happy that Zemeckis didn’t allow Hanks to get his way in potentially getting rid of the bus bench scenes. Well, he may have pushed back on it, but we are glad that it all came together in such a wonderfully impactful film.