Tom Hanks starred in the 1994 movie that won him the Best Actor Oscar

By Ale Russian
September 24, 2020 11:12 AM
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Credit: Paramount Pictures/ Everett

Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis had to believe in their vision when the budget was a little tight while filming Forrest Gump.

It turns out Hanks and Zemeckis had to reportedly fund parts of the iconic 1994 movie themselves when Paramount couldn't approve more budget for a few scenes. On the podcast In Depth With Graham Bensinger, the Oscar winner talked about how the director came to him and said the studio wouldn't be funding the famous scene where Forrest runs across the country because it was too expensive.

But Zemeckis knew how crucial the scene was to the movie and went to Hanks with an alternate plan.

"He said, 'Well, this run is going to cost X amount of dollars.' And it wasn't cheap. And I said, 'OK'. He said, 'You and I are going to split that amount, and we're going to give it back [to Paramount]. We'll give you the money back, but you guys [Paramount] are going to have to share the profits a little bit more.' Which the studio said, 'Fabulous, great. OK.' And it was good for us, too," Hanks recalled.

This happened again with another scene, though Hanks didn't specify which one.

"They said, 'The weather is such that we can't get the insurance coverage on it,' the studio said, 'So you guys can't shoot.' And Bob and I said, 'We'll cover the insurance.' And we did," Hanks said.

Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump in the 1994 film
| Credit: Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images

The gamble paid off, with the movie turning into an instant classic and bringing in $330.5 million domestically and over $1 billion total worldwide.

The move also benefitted Hanks who reportedly made $65 million off the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Forrest Gump also won big at the Academy Awards the next year. Hanks took home Best Actor and the movie won Best Picture while Zemeckis won Best Director. The movie had 13 nominations in total and finished the night with six wins.

According to Hanks, that outcome didn't look likely at the beginning of filming, with Zemeckis even having to scrap the first footage while Hanks figured out how to play his now-iconic character.

"Bob said, 'Look, I know what you are trying to do. I know how nervous you are and how self-conscious this can be before we get into the groove. But we're not going to use any of these first three days because I don't think you've got it. You haven't got the character.' And I said, 'I don't. I don't. You're right.' And he just said, 'Don't try so hard.' And from that, everything settled down in a moment's notice," Hanks said.