Tom Hanks can admit he isn’t a fan of some of his movies, with a career spanning over 40 years. In a new interview published with The New Yorker, the 66-year-old actor discussed how audiences view films and how they may change over time.
The Asteroid City actor told the publication, “Let’s admit this: We all have seen movies that we hate. I have been in some movies that I hate. You have seen some of my movies, and you hate them.” As for how a viewer takes in a film, Hanks says the reactions are either: “I hate it” or “I think it’s brilliant.” He says further, “Somewhere in between the two is what the movie actually is.”
The Oscar winner calls this idea “Rubicon No. 3” in his list of “five points of the Rubicon that are crossed by anybody who makes movies.” The first Rubicon is agreeing “to be in that movie,” Hanks said. “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.”
Skipping ahead to the fourth, Hanks says it goes to 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.” And the fifth and final Rubicon is time, which the actor illustrated with examples including It’s a Wonderful Life, which became more popular and beloved much later than its 1946 release.
He then included a 1996 movie called That Thing You Do!, which he wrote, directed, and starred in. “I loved making that movie.” Hanks added, “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 (Latin for ‘voice of the people’). It didn’t do great business. It hung around for a while and was viewed as being some sort of odd, kinda quasi-ripoff of nine other different movies and a nice little stroll down memory lane.”
As with It’s a Wonderful Life, Hanks said the same exact publication that dismissed it back then in their initial review called it a “‘Tom Hanks’ cult classic.” He added, “What was the difference between those two things? The answer is time.”
Tom Hanks will next be seen in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, out in theaters on June 23. Watch the trailer below: