Tom_Hanks, A_Beautiful_Day_in_the_Neighborhood , Photo: Armando Gallo in Toronto
  • Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2020: Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Tom Hanks is no stranger to winning Golden Globes. He’s been nominated nine times, winning three, and now he’s a nominee for playing Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. We should add he’s also this year’s Cecil B. deMille honoree (for lifetime achievement).Fresh out of college, Tom learned his craft at the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, winning a Critics Award for playing Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona. Soon after, he moved to New York where his performance in a Riverside Shakespeare Company production was noticed by a talent scout and he was given a lead role in TV’s Bosom Buddies. Emerging director Ron Howard saw something in him and cast him in Splash, which became a huge hit and established him as a movie star. He had another hit with Bachelor Party and then attempted his first dramatic role in Nothing in Common, in which he did equally well.After playing his kid self in BigThe Bonfire of the Vanities was a major setback, but A League of Their Own, again with Penny Marshall, was a surprise hit and Sleepless in Seattle a blockbuster. That encouraged him to return to drama, and playing an HIV victim in Philadelphia he won his second Golden Globe and his first Oscar.The following year he played Forrest Gump, a character that resonated with audiences to the tune of $600 million and enabled him to become the first actor since Spencer Tracy to win back-to-back Academy Awards. He was reunited with Ron Howard on Apollo 13 and then voiced the character of Woody in the Pixar animated classic Toy Story which spawned three highly acclaimed sequels.His foray into directing resulted in That Thing You DoSaving Private RyanSteven Spielberg. A Golden Globe and Oscar winner, it set a new standard for depicting combat in a war film. And it was the year’s top moneymaker. The Green MileYou’ve Got Mail, Toy Story 2andCast Away, for which he won his fourth Golden Globe, made him the top box office star of the decade.His next two movies with Spielberg were less successful but then he made a comeback starring in The Da Vinci CodeBridge of Spiesand the legendary newspaper editor Ben Bradlee in The Postwere well received, and now he is nominated as best supporting actor for playing Mr. Rogers.As to that role, he recently told the Hollywood Foreign Press, “We had this added burden knowing that everyone has their own personal individual connection to Mister Rogers. And some of it quite frankly is comedic. He has become a kind of buzz creature guy, who talks slowly and talks to puppets and can be funny if you just tilt it a little bit, like Eddie Murphy does with “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood,” You really can make sport and fun of Mister Rogers. But of course, that would be anathema to anything we were trying to do. So navigating these two things, my natural inclination and approach to going to work, against the specificity of the work itself, I approached it wondering every moment of every day if I was doing it right.”A question he no longer needs to ask. Critics and audiences coast to coast agree: Tom Hanks became Mr. Rogers.