“I’m going to strangle you”: Tom Hanks Came Very Close To Badly Hurting His Director after She Made Him Repeat a Scene Almost 400 Times For Oscar-Nominated Role

Tom Hanks Came Very Close To Badly Hurting His Director after She Made Him Repeat a Scene Almost 400 Times For Oscar-Nominated Role
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With a childlike glee that could only be replicated by Tom Hanks, the actor created something in the early years of his career that is undeniable in its charisma. His 1988 film Big, despite being a reimagining of our childhood, sets out to bring more than just people’s complicated relationship with their adolescent angst to the screens. With Hanks in its leading role, the story follows the buoyant protagonist of the narrative as he finds himself, a pensive teenager, in an adult’s body free to operate within a “grown-up” world.

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As he moves from one day to the next, discovering and learning aspects both positive and negative about adulthood, the pensive teenager-turned-adult accepts what one’s childhood is supposed to be and returns to his to experience life as it unfolds.

Big (1988)
Big (1988)

Also read: “That was driving me nuts about the project”: Tom Hanks Was ‘Cranky’ the Entire Time He Was Filming $227M Movie With Tom Cruise’s Top Gun 2 Co-star

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Tom Hanks Had a Desperate Experience While Filming Big

Although the 1988 film was a masterpiece of sorts, it would have been somewhat incomplete without Tom Hanks at the helm to steer the whole story forward. But such an innate ability to portray a child in an adult body did not come easily to the multifaceted actor. The director, Penny Marshall, had contributed a great deal to the process herself, and as later recounted and reported by Hanks, these contributions did not always strike a welcoming chord of constructive criticism in him as a performer:

“Well, one thing she did that drove me crazy was to test over and over and over again with all sorts of actors. There were scenes that I must have done two hundred times on videotape and then two hundred more in the rehearsal process. Penny just wanted to see all sorts of things. I would say, “I can’t do this scene one more time. I don’t care who it is. I cannot read these same goddamn words one more time or by the time we get to making the movie, I’m going to hate it so much that I’m not going to do it at all.”

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks

Also read: “I made a lot of mistakes”: Tom Hardy Admitted Parenthood Impacted His Life, Named His Son After Tom Hanks’ $678.2M Film Role

Despite her divisive method of direction and guidance, Penny Marshall did bring the performance that she required and needed of her lead actor to the screen. Tom Hanks, for his part, fortunately, recognized his director’s process and respected it enough to stick along for the ride and stay to see the final, inimitable, and classic product of his efforts.

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Tom Hanks Comes To Terms With His Difficult Shoot

By 1988, Tom Hanks was already making the rounds having starred in a conveyor belt of successful Hollywood lineups including Dragnet and The Burbs since his debut in 1984 with the critically successful Splash! in 1984. With Big, Tom Hanks solidifies his position in the industry as a star, with a performance that evokes unimaginable joy and boundless optimism. Speaking of Marshall who made it possible, the actor claimed:

“Well, what happened instead was, I knew the material so well that by the time we shot it, it turned out to be the best rehearsed of all the movies that I’ve done. There are only certain people I would accept that from. Penny is one. To most others, I would say, “Look, you either tell me exactly what is wrong or what is right about this or I’m going to strangle you.””

Tom Hanks with Penny Marshall
Tom Hanks with Penny Marshall

Also read: “That’ll blow our nuts right off”: Tom Hanks Was Worried His $678M Oscar Winning Movie Would Kill His Hollywood Career After Director’s Ominous Warning

Tom Hanks’ performance in the film garnered the actor’s first Academy Award nomination for the Best Leading Actor role. He went on to reconstruct his image in the 90s as the decade’s King of Rom-Com before heading towards more dramatic and heart-tugging roles by the late 90s and the following decade or so.

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Big (1988) currently holds a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is available for streaming on Disney+ and Hulu.

Source: IMDb

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Written by Diya Majumdar

Articles Published: 1488

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has nearly 1500 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh. Other skills include being the proud owner of an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists.