Growing up as the son of one of the most famous — and most beloved — actors in the world can be challenging. Chet Hanks, the son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, can attest to that. Last year, after two years of sobriety, Chet spoke about the growing up in the “shadow of success” as he revived his struggling career with recurring roles on Empire and Shameless after some embarrassing mistakes earlier in his life, which he attributed to the pressures of growing up as the son of Tom Hanks.
However, another son of Tom Hanks, Colin (Orange County, Fargo, Life in Pieces), has been able to navigate growing up as the son of the Big star with much less difficulty, although it’s not been without its challenges. Being Tom Hanks’ son and having his career compared against that of his father’s “can feel like hitting your head against the wall,” Colin tells Dax Shepard on a recent episode of The Armchair Expert.
“When I was starting off,” Colin tells Shepard, “I was sort of lovingly naive, thinking that [being the son of Tom Hanks] wasn’t as big a deal as it is … that I would get the benefit of the doubt that I was my own person … and that doesn’t happen.” As Colin relates, being the son of a famous actor can help get your foot in the door, but it comes with certain expectations that are not always easy to meet.
Unlike Chet Hanks, who grew up full-time with Tom, however, Colin grew up in Sacramento where Tom Hanks and his mom, Samantha Lewes, met in college. After his parents split, Colin moved from Los Angeles back to Sacramento with his mom when he was around 8 or 9 years old. In fact, as a child of divorce, he mostly grew up in Sacramento, only spending every other weekend and the summers in L.A. with Tom. “It was just a fun sort of getaway. I went to summer camp, and we found stuff to do,” he told Shepard. There were also summers “where my old man had a job to do so we’d spend the summer in Indiana or Seattle, so the traveling ended up becoming a component, as well.”