Junior Reporter: Who is Tom Hanks?

November 17, 2017

Junior Reporter MJ had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by our friends at City Arts & Lectures where actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks talked about his new book, “Common Type”. She tells us the wonderful story of how she went from “Who is Tom Hanks?” to “I can’t wait to get to know more of him!” in this report.

Who is Tom Hanks?

Who is Tom Hanks? That was the question in my mind as my mom ecstatically told me I would have an opportunity to see him. I had absolutely no idea who he is! For days, my parents talked about how many awards he earned, what iconic roles he played, and the impact he made to our culture today. I still had no connection about who he is. But wait… he is the voice of Woody from Toy Story?! One of my favorite movies! Now my light switch turned on and I was excited.

We were one of the first to get to the Nourse Theater. We were seated in a big auditorium. When Hanks finally walked on stage, the entire audience stood up and cheered for his entrance. When I saw him on stage and all the grown-ups around me, I started to get nervous because there were a lot of people. He introduced himself as a 61-year-old actor. I was more intrigued about him when he said he is from the Bay Area. He lived in a houseboat and moved around a lot. Hanks’ original parents were divorced. His dad was in the restaurant business and worked for the Sea Lion Cafe and the Castaway restaurant. His favorite class in high school was drama. One of his teachers was Rawley Farnsworth. In his class, he had to first read the play, see it, then report back. Hanks said as a movie star his job was to take on that role and resemble what that character is doing. He grew up believing that everything in movies is true. 

My favorite part of the meeting was when someone in the audience asked if he can PLEASE  run for president. Everyone laughed so hard! He said that in the past 300 days, we learnt that hubris and celebrity alone do not make good leadership. I think he is talking about Trump. He said that we need someone who is boring, bland and un-colorful. Someone who truly knows and wants the job. And that is not him!

I learnt a lot about him. He is a world renowned movie star, producer, and director. He acted and made a lot of famous movies like Big, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and Apollo 13. Did you know he is also an author? His first book was Alan B. +4. He also wrote a book called Special Weekend, and he even wrote a book about his father in law. His latest book, The Uncommon Type, was just released. It is seven realistic fiction stories all in one book. I have read a little bit of it and I think it is for young adults. My mom stopped me from reading it further because it has some bad words in it. She negotiated with me that I can start watching some of his famous films before reading his books. I can’t wait to get to know more of him!