Tom Hanks addresses high-profile stars’ bad behavior on set—and admits he’s not totally innocent

Tom Hanks attends the photocall for "Elvis" during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2022 in Cannes, France.
Tom Hanks, pictured in May 2022, recently published his debut novel "The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece."
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Tom Hanks has a reputation – and it’s a good one – but the Hollywood superstar says he isn’t always a beacon of light at work.

In an interview with the BBC, the Oscar-winning actor suggested some movie stars exploited their status to misbehave on set—and admits even he had days where he didn’t live up to his “nice guy” reputation.  

Hanks, who spoke ahead of the publication of his debut novel The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, took accountability for his own behavior on set in the past.

His book, which tells the story of the making of a star-studded superhero action movie, features an array of characters including a visionary director and a male actor who disrupts the production and delays shoots.

The novel, inspired by Hanks’s own career, also touches on feuds between talent, stars grappling with addiction and sexual harassment. Some of the actors dreamed up by Hanks are depicted as “crybabies” and “psychological train wrecks.”

“I have pulled every single one of those moments of behavior myself on a set,” Hanks admits.

“Not everybody is at their best every single day on a motion picture set. I’ve had tough days trying to be a professional when my life has been falling apart in more ways than one and the requirement for me that day is to be funny, charming and loving – and it’s the last way I feel.”

However, he noted that he had never shown up to work late, describing behavior that obstructs production as “a cardinal sin in the motion picture business.”

“What cannot occur on a motion picture is that someone cannot monkey around with the timing or the length of the shoot or the budget,” he said. “[But] you will be amazed at how many people know that they can get away with it, and are told they can get away with it, because they are carrying the movie on their shoulders.”

Hanks did not name names when requested to do so by the BBC.

Hollywood’s working culture issues

Hollywood has faced a reckoning in recent years, with Tinseltown confronting problems including gender and ethnicity pay gaps, a lack of diversity in movie productions and the #MeToo movement.

However, some say there is still a long way for the film industry to go, with activists and industry insiders arguing filmmakers and executives have a responsibility to rethink their approach to everything from diversity to the environment.

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