Without a doubt, Tom Hanks is one of the most lovable icons in Hollywood. He’s graced our screens for decades and played exceptional and inspirational roles in a whole host of successful titles. The internet, in particular, is notably in love with the man, unable to see any trace of malevolence behind his blue eyes.
Perhaps some of his likeability has a lot to do with him only ever playing the good guy in films. From Toy Story‘s Woody to the titular character in Forrest Gump right up until his recent portrayal of Mister Rogers, Tom Hanks just doesn’t seem to ever take on the role of the baddie.
And according to a recent report from The New York Times, there’s a reason for this. During an interview with the newspaper, “America’s Sweetheart” confessed that he lacks that certain evil streak required to play a bad guy. After so many years entertaining the masses, the 63-year-old actor understands that he simply cannot come across as threatening.
I recognized in myself a long time ago that I don’t instill fear in anybody. Now, that’s different than being nice, you know? I think I have a cache of mystery. But it’s not one of malevolence. It’s because I never get them, because bad guys, by and large, require some degree of malevolence that I don’t think I can fake.
That’s not to say Tom Hanks has never played a bad guy before. In 2002, he portrayed an assassin in Road To Perdition and more recently, he – under a lot of make-up – played a villain in the adaptation of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Yet, there’s always something about him that brings out the good guy.
Aside from the above examples, you’d be hard pushed to think of a film in which Hanks plays a character of pure evil, one that stays in the viewer’s mind at least. After all, it would probably stick out like a zit on his resume amongst his many classic good guy roles.