Some 28 years ago, Tom Hanks won an Oscar for Philadelphia, in which he played a gay man seeking justice over being fired for his HIV status.
That was then. But in the here-and-now, Hanks told The New York Times Magazine that he could never play that role today, and understands why.
“Could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now? No, and rightly so,” Hanks said. “The whole point of Philadelphia was, ‘Don’t be afraid.’ One of the reasons people weren’t afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man. We’re beyond that now, and I don’t think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy. It’s not a crime, it’s not boohoo, that someone would say we are going to demand more of a movie in the modern realm of authenticity. Do I sound like I’m preaching? I don’t mean to.”
Hanks made the remarks as part of his efforts to promote his latest project, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, in which he plays manager, Tom Parker.
The actor also talked about why he has abandoned Twitter. He hasn’t posted since May 2020.
“I stopped posting because, number one, I thought it was an empty exercise. I have enough attention on me,” he said. “But also I’d post something goofy like, ‘Here’s a pair of shoes I saw in the middle of the street,’ and the third comment would be, ‘[Expletive] you, Hanks.’ I don’t know if I want to give that guy the forum. If the third comment is ‘[Expletive] you, you Obama-loving communist,’ it’s like, I don’t need to do that.’”