“The work we do is noble because we care so deeply. There’s this unquenchable, unstoppable desire to capture something in every line, in every moment—that no one else could have created or captured. It’s an elusive task. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes it happens by magic, and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. But what matters is the desire, and to try.”
-Tom Hanks, episode 338 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
Today, on his 67th birthday, we’re joined by actor Tom Hanks! We begin by discussing his debut novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece (6:45), his nomadic upbringing across California (13:56), and the Stanley Kubrick film that made him want to be an artist (19:50). Then, we talk about his early work at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival (23:38) and moving to Los Angeles for his television debut in Bosom Buddies (28:42), before pivoting to dramatic roles in films like Philadelphia and Forrest Gump (33:00).
On the back-half, Hanks describes the transformative, eight-year process of making Cast Away (36:40), receiving an AFI Lifetime Achievement award for his work at age forty-six (39:12), the vital performances that followed (40:21), and his insatiable desire to reflect the human experience (45:43).
To close, Hanks reflects on the kinship he found with Yankee hall of famer Joe DiMaggio (47:52), his formative friendships with actor Holland Taylor (50:17) and the late Nora Ephron (52:32), and the Cecil B. DeMille story he hopes to keep telling (53:20).
- Read the full transcript of this conversation.
- Order Tom’s new book, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece.
- See his latest performance in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City.
- Watch more of his previous work in Splash, Big, A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Catch Me If You Can, Sully, and The Post.
- Follow Tom on Instagram.
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Holland Taylor, Michael Shannon, Oscar Isaac, Matthew McConaughey, Laura Dern, Tessa Thompson, and Edward Norton.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.