At a time when every white male in Hollywood seems to be a wolf in sheep's clothing, Tom Hanks might be the only genuinely nice guy and these stories are proof.
It all began when The New York Times published an article titled This Tom Hanks Story Will Help You Feel Less Bad earlier this week. Author Taffy Brodesser-Akner listed out a number of stories vouching for the celeb's "nicest guy in Hollywood" status, from the time he stopped the shooting of his 2008 film Angels and Demons to escort a bride and her father to the altar to when he randomly helped out Girl Scouts sell cookies to passers-by. Published on November 13 — World Kindness Day — the article set off an avalanche of more stories about the A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood star that'll make you want to worship him.
Posting a link to the article on Twitter, Brodesser-Akner revealed that interviewing Hanks turned out to be a healing experience for her. "I was going through a spell of depression—too much exposure to the misery of this world—when I started interviewing @tomhanks; I'm not anymore. Did you know that celebrity profiles can heal you?" she asked. While the author's testimonial of the Hanks effect is in itself a story that merits more nice guy points for the celeb, it was what followed the tweet that made Wednesday one of the purest days in Twitter history.
Tom Hanks for The New York Times.— جوزفين (@JosphineMamdouh) November 13, 2019
Photographed by Daniel Dorsa pic.twitter.com/l8q6swvRsj
"Story's been up a few hours, and I just woke up (I'm traveling, don't judge me). But I've already received a ton of supplementary Tom Hanks Is Wonderful stories, in addition to the ones I have that didn't fit in. I have a busy day, but I'll try to get them in there," Brodesser-Akner revealed in a follow-up tweet. True to her word, the author began sharing never-before-heard heartwarming stories about the Saving Private Ryan star. Like this one here:
Tom Hanks once did an interview at the Los Angeles NPR affiliate @kcrw, and when he walked in, he saw the carpet was in shambles. He right there wrote a check for new carpeting.— Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) November 13, 2019
"Tom once walked up to an In-N-Out drive-thru and paid for the meal of the next person, asking the cashier to convey that so that he or she could pay for the next person in line," read another one. More Twitter users began adding to the Tom Hanks Is Wonderful collection with @patrickcdoyle sharing an incident from when the celeb was filming the Mister Rogers movie. "@905wesa was in the middle of a membership drive. Hanks called in—himself!—and made a donation," he revealed.
This got cut from my story, because physics is a cruel mistress. pic.twitter.com/4naIbIPDQn— Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) November 13, 2019
Twitter user @kamorfoot recounted the time she interviewed the 63-year-old, writing, "A few years ago, at an event, I approached him for an interview and he barked, 'I need coffee!' Then he walked away. I thought, 'Ugh. Another horrible celebrity.' BUT, then, a few minutes later someone was tapping my shoulder. It was Hanks. He was 'ready now.' Then he actually apologized. 'I just needed coffee.' I told him I completely understand. To this day he's one of my favorite celebs."
Once, in 2008, when Tom Hanks was shooting “Angels & Demons” in Rome by the Pantheon, a bride and her father couldn’t approach the chapel because of the hullabaloo, so Hanks stopped filming to escort them to the altar. pic.twitter.com/XcG4vaclIr— Steve Goldberg (@Steve_Goldberg) November 13, 2019
@MollyMcKew added, "Can add to the positive @tomhanks stories: he has a place in Idaho near our place. When fire season is bad, he routinely provides aid, respite, sustenance, equipment, moral support to the firefighters performing near-miracle work. Does so without any fuss or press." Brodesser-Akner recounts several more soul-stirring stories about Hanks in her New York Times article (you can read it here), and I'm sure there are plenty more that have never seen the light of day.
I interviewed Tom Hanks the day after the NYT broke the Harvey Weinstein story. Other stories about other people were already bubbling. I really needed him to be decent and lovely, and he was, and I appreciated it so much. https://t.co/2eMLRGJdwM— Linda Holmes (@lindaholmes) November 13, 2019
While I've never actually met the star, and probably never will, I'd like to end this article with a Tom Hanks testimonial of my own. I came across Brodesser-Akner's article and the subsequent viral Twitter thread at a time when I was going through one of my regular existential crisis spells. Reading all these stories about Hanks has filled me with hope in a way little else has to date and I can't help but consider the possibility that perhaps mankind isn't all that bad as the internet would generally have you believe. You're a good guy, Tom. You truly are. Thank you.