Tom Hanks Admits That He’s Made Some Movies Even He Hates (Though He Doesn’t Name Names)

Earlier this year, Tom Hanks inexplicably won two Razzies for Elvis. Not every film he’s made has been a winner, and from time to time he’s had to stick up for some of his biggest hits. But even he has to admit his record isn’t perfect. That’s what he did in a new interview with The New Yorker.

“O.K., let’s admit this: We all have seen movies that we hate,” he said, adding. “I have been in some movies that I hate. You have seen some of my movies and you hate them.”

He doesn’t name names, which begs the question: Which Tom Hanks movies does Tom Hanks hate? His early film career was a bit dicey, so maybe The Man with One Red Shoe or Turner & Hooch. Perhaps he’s secretly not so hot for You’ve Got Mail or his mo-cap work in The Polar Express. Does anyone really like the film version of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close? If he hates the wonderful Joe vs. the Volcano, though, that would be very disappointing.

Hanks also laid out the “five points of the Rubicon that are crossed by anybody who makes movies”:

The first Rubicon you cross is saying yes to the film. Your fate is sealed. You are going to be in that movie.

The second Rubicon is when you actually see the movie that you made. It either works and is the movie you wanted to make, or it does not work and it’s not the movie you wanted to make.

That has nothing to do with Rubicon No. 3, the critical reaction to it—which is a version of the vox populi. Someone is going to say, “I hated it.” Other people can say, “I think it’s brilliant.” Somewhere in between the two is what the movie actually is.

The fourth Rubicon is the commercial performance of the film. Because, if it does not make money, your career will be toast sooner than you want it to be. That’s just the fact. That’s the business.

The fifth Rubicon is time. Where that movie lands twenty years after the fact. What happens when people look at it, perhaps by accident. And a great example of this is “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which was made [in 1946] and disappeared for the better part of, I’m going to say, twenty years, locked up in a rights issue. It wasn’t even viewed at the time as being a commercial hit. Enough people liked it, so it was nominated for Best Picture.

As an example of a film that benefited from time he cites That Thing You Do!, his 1996 directorial debut about a garage band in the early ‘60s that becomes a one-hit wonder:

I loved making that movie. I loved writing it, I loved being with it. I love all the people in it. When it came out, it was completely dismissed by the first wave of vox populi. It didn’t do great business. It hung around for a while, was viewed as being some sort of odd, kinda quasi-ripoff of nine other different movies and a nice little stroll down memory lane. Now the same exact publications that dismissed it in their initial review called it “Tom Hanks’s cult classic, ‘That Thing You Do!’ ” So now it’s a cult classic. What was the difference between those two things? The answer is time.

(Via New Yorker)