The ongoing nepo baby business in Hollywood continues into the new year, as celebs continue to emerge from the woodwork to share their unexpectedly awful perspectives. This time, America’s favorite dad, Tom Hanks, put his neck on the line to weigh in on the contentious issue, and his take is… underwhelming.
“Look, this is a family business,” Hanks stated in a video interview with The Sun on Jan. 6 while talking about his latest film, “A Man Called Otto,” and the casting of his youngest son, Truman, as the younger version of his own role. “We’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s where all of our kids grew up,” Hanks added, noting that all of his children are involved in “storytelling” in some capacity. (For those unfamiliar, Hanks has four children: Colin and Elizabeth from his first marriage to late actress Samantha Lewes, and Chet and Truman from his present marriage to actress Rita Wilson.) “If we had a plumbing supply company or a floral shop down the street, the whole family would be working at some point, even if it was simply inventory at the end of the year.” Oh, Tom. Tom, Tom, Tommy, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom. Are you really comparing your multibillion-dollar Hollywood business to a small-town floral shop? “Sike!” please say right now.
Despite being a distant relative of famed children’s television show presenter Fred Rogers (who he portrayed in the 2018 film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Hanks is far from an “OG Nepo Baby” by today’s standards. He made his cinematic debut in the low-budget 1980 horror picture He Knows You’re Alone after traveling to New York to experience the Big Apple. Hanks established his acting career from the bottom up, providing America with cult favorites such as Big (1988), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and Toy Story (1995). With that kind of history, you’d think he’d be more prepared to admit how all his hard work has helped give his children a leg up in the entertainment business—even Chet, alias “Chet Haze,” whose professional path hasn’t been as illustrious as the rest of the family’s.
Hanks seemed to have a tone-deaf take on the topic, insisting that skill, not money or privilege, was the most crucial component in success. “What doesn’t change, no matter what occurs, no matter what your last name is, is whether it works or not,” he explained. “That’s the problem whenever any of us goes out and tries to tell a new tale or construct anything with a beginning, middle, and finish. It makes no difference what our surnames are. “We have to make an effort to make it a genuine and authentic experience for the audience, which is a much larger task than worrying about whether or not somebody would try to sabotage us.”
Actually, Tom, many individuals would argue that last names are important, particularly in the entertainment sector, where recognition is critical. That doesn’t take away from the fact that many so-called “nepotism” infants are really gifted. Many have demonstrated this to be true. But celebrities appear to entirely miss that point; a rising number of them have shown themselves to be rather sensitive about the matter, preferring to break down over the idea of their own star-powered privilege than just accept it.