The actor was honored with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille award at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday

By Claudia Harmata and Darlene Aderoju
January 06, 2020 09:35 AM
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Tom Hanks credits his Hollywood success to the fact that he’s just doing what he loves.

While speaking to PEOPLE at the 77th Annual Golden Globes on Sunday night, the 63-year-old actor explained that growing up he had always dreamed about pursuing a career in acting.

“I will say that years and years — when I realized that being an actor was a thing, a job, a craft, a pursuit you could have — I [didn’t] think there could be anything that could possibly be more fun that,” Hanks told PEOPLE. “I’m not in this for power, although I have some, I’m not in this for money, although man am I rich. I can go to Greece any time I want so that’s how comfortable I am, but there’s no substitute for that.”

By following his passion, the star — whose career spans decades with hit films including Big, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and Cast Away — has become one of the most beloved faces in the business.

“I will tell you this, when I was in high school and we would audition, auditions would be done on Friday and the cast list would be put on Monday and I could not sleep for the entire weekend and I still feel that way the weekend before we start shooting,” he continued. “It’s just the greatest and most exciting and challenging job there is.”

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The four-time Golden Globes winner, as well as two-time Oscar winner and seven-time Emmy winner, was honored with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille award at the 2020 Golden Globes — an award that celebrates a star’s “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment,” according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Upon receiving his award, the actor held back tears as he gave his speech with his family, including wife Rita Wilson, sitting near the stage.

“I’m sorry,” he apologized while gathering himself. “A man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that. A wife who is fantastic in every way, who has taught me what love is. Five kids who are braver and stronger and wiser than their old man is. And a loving group of people who have put [up] with me being away months and months and months at a time.”

“Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be standing up here if they didn’t have to put up with that,” he added. “I can’t tell you how much your love means to me.”

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Credit: NBC

Ahead of the highly anticipated evening, Hanks sat down with Today‘s Savannah Guthrie and reflected on his acting career that has led him to be honored with the coveted Cecil B. DeMille award.

“There’s an undeniable power that you just have to say, ‘Hey, I did work that was good enough that ended up touching people on a very personal level,’” the A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood star said of his achievements.

“Because I think we all remember what we were going through — what our circumstances [were] — was it sort of like what we needed at the time when we saw films that actually made us feel better about who we are,” Hanks added.