Rita Wilson Shares What Drew Her to Tom Hanks When They First Met: 'I Love a Good Storyteller'

"First of all, I love a good storyteller," Wilson said

Rita Wilson
Photo: YouTube. Inset: Getty Images

Rita Wilson loves Tom Hanks‘ gift of gab!

On a Tuesday episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, which A Simple Wedding star, 63, recorded before her coronavirus diagnosis, Wilson opened up about what drew her to her husband, 63, when they first met.

When host Kelly Clarkson remarked how chatty Hanks was when he appeared on her show last year, Wilson said that the actor’s talkative nature was “one of the things, when we met, that we just got along instantly.”

“First of all, I love a good storyteller,” she said. ” So anybody who could tell a good story, I’m down with that.”

Sharing that she grew up in a “very vocal” Greek household, the actress explained she didn’t mind Hanks being very chatty as “food and talking … was pretty much our existence” for her family.

“I love that. He makes me laugh all the time,” she said of her husband. “He’s a great storyteller.”

Wilson and Hanks married in 1988 and share two sons: Chet, 29, and Truman, 24. (Hanks is also dad to Colin, 41, and Elizabeth, 37, from his first marriage to Samantha Lewes.)

During the interview, Wilson also got candid about learning how to “wrap your head around your own mortality” when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Explaining that “when you’re going through something like that, you really don’t know what it’s going to be like,” the singer-songwriter said she laid out two requests for Hanks if she should die before him.

“I wanted to have these very serious discussion with my husband and I said to him, ‘Look, if something happens and I should go before you, then I just want you to know that there’s a couple of things that I want,” Wilson, who is now cancer-free, said. “One is that I want you to be super sad for a really long time … like, I will haunt you.”

“The second was that I wanted a party. I wanted to have a celebration, and I wanted to have a lot of singing and dancing and people telling stories, and to feel like that was being celebrated,” she shared, explaining how the idea served as the inspiration behind her song “Throw Me a Party.”

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks
Christopher Polk/People/Shutterstock

Last month on March 29, Wilson celebrated the anniversary of many milestones — including beating breast cancer and becoming a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) “survivor.”

“This date, March 29, represents a time of great happiness,” Wilson, who recently returned home to Los Angeles with Hanks after they were both diagnosed with the virus while in Australia, wrote on her Instagram. “I was on Broadway starring with Larry David in his play Fish In The Dark before finding out I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. March 29 also marks five years of being cancer free after having had a bilateral mastectomy.”

“I am so thankful for my health, for the doctors, nurses, friends and family who got me through that time,” she continued. “You, online friends, also need to be thanked because your prayers and optimism were felt deeply. And, so thankful for the blessings God has bestowed on me, then and now.”

RELATED VIDEO: Rita Wilson Celebrates Being a ‘COVID-19 Survivor’ and ‘Five Years Cancer Free’ on March 29

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In the message, Wilson also revealed that March 29 was the same date she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as the release date of her album Halfway to Home.

“So, today, March 29, I am celebrating the beauty of this life, the blessings God has given, and my continued good health, even now as a COVID 19 survivor,” she ended her note. “Please take a moment today to acknowledge the amazing creation your bodies are and to thank it for doing so much.”

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