There's really no contest: Tom Hanks is the nicest guy in Hollywood. For such a celebrated actor, extremely talented, and with accolades as far as the eye can see, he's the only man I know who has the right to act like a diva, a spoiled brat, and an all-around A-list snob yet he's far from it! I know! I've already met him!
It was during the time I was working in Italy and it just so happened that the new Dan Brown movie adaptation, "Angels & Demons" was going to premiere here. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Robert Langdon, the Indiana Jones-like professor of symbology who's now traveling in Rome to save four kidnapped candidates for the papacy. The movie is as exciting as you'd expect from a story by Dan Brown, backed by Ron Howard's incredible directing, it was, in my opinion, one of the best movies of 2009.
I was lucky enough to have gotten a ticket to the world premiere in Rome, getting a front-row (or rather, front-carpet) seat at the event. To commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime night, my friend got a few copies of the movie poster and we planned to ask the cast to sign them. Or, at the very least, get Tom Hanks to sign them. As you'd probably guessed, our mission was a success! More than that, we also discovered just how nice of a guy Hanks is.
Among all of the cast members, he was the only one who really took the time and effort to get to as many fans as possible. It probably took him hours greeting fans, posing for the cameras, getting interviewed by the press, and so on. Yet he never looked tired, he never showed an attitude, and his famous warm grin was plastered on his face all throughout. It was like he was unreal!
At least, that's what I thought until he got to us! We shook hands and when we asked for his autographs, he didn't even give it a second thought. While he was signing, he chatted with us a little (forgot what we talked about, sorry!) and we just felt his warmth and kindness! It was like we were talking to our favorite teacher from school or something. There was a sense of familiarity, probably from years of watching him on-screen, that was evident just by being around and interacting with him.
After he signed all of our posters (yes, ALL!) my friend and I smiled at each other like a couple of fools! We couldn't believe we got THE Tom Hanks's autographs. We also got some of the other cast members' autographs too—namely, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard, and more—but come one, Tom Hanks easily Trumps all of them (with all due respect!). Had he been the only one to have signed out posters, we wouldn't have regretted it! Still, we're thankful for the rest of the cast as well!
No matter how often you watch an actor on-screen or on interviews and such, you'll never really know them until you meet them in person. Having met the incredible Tom Hanks in person myself, I think I'm right in claiming that he really is the biggest "angel" in Hollywood!
Please note: Our inventory is limited as we may have only received a few posters in total. Most of our items are obtained from film premieres, studios, and from autographed hounds such as the one in the story above.