Elvis Presley Tom Hanks, When you think of Elvis Presley, you probably envision the iconic rock and roll superstar with his signature moves and suave demeanor. And when you think of Tom Hanks, you likely imagine the award-winning actor known for his incredible range and likable charm. But did you know that there is a surprising connection between these two legends? While they may seem like unlikely pairings at first glance, Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks share a unique bond that goes far beyond the surface.
In this blog post, we will dive into the relationship between these two icons, exploring how Elvis Presley influenced Tom Hanks’ career and the similarities and differences between their lives. So let’s take a closer look at the dynamic duo of Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks.
Elvis Presley’s Influence on Tom Hanks
Elvis Presley was more than just a musician; he was a cultural phenomenon. His impact on the world of music, fashion, and entertainment cannot be understated. And it’s not just fans who were inspired by him; other artists and celebrities also looked up to him and drew inspiration from his talent and charisma. One such person was Tom Hanks.
Growing up in the 1950s, Tom Hanks was exposed to the rise of rock and roll music, and naturally, Elvis Presley became one of his idols. In an interview with Larry King, Hanks shared how he discovered Presley’s music through his parents’ record collection and how it sparked his love for music and performing. He even admitted to trying to imitate Presley’s dance moves in front of the mirror as a child.
But it wasn’t just Presley’s music that captured Hanks’ attention; it was his on-screen presence as well. As a young actor, Hanks was deeply impressed by Presley’s performance in the film “King Creole,” which he considers one of his all-time favorite movies. It’s safe to say that Elvis Presley played a significant role in shaping Tom Hanks’ early interest in music and acting.
How Elvis Presley Inspired Tom Hanks’ Career
As Hanks developed his career as an actor, he continued to be inspired by Elvis Presley and his impact on popular culture. In fact, some of Hanks’ most iconic roles were influenced by or directly related to Presley’s career. Let’s take a closer look at how Presley inspired some of Hanks’ most notable performances.
1. Forrest Gump (1994)
In the beloved film “Forrest Gump,” Tom Hanks plays the titular character, a slow-witted but kind-hearted man who experiences numerous historic events throughout his life. One of these events is Gump’s meeting with President John F. Kennedy, where he shows off his impressive dance moves on stage. This scene was heavily inspired by Elvis Presley’s famously hip-shaking performance of “Hound Dog” on the Milton Berle Show in 1956. Hanks even went through an intense dance training to perfect his moves for this scene, just like Presley did for his performances.
2. That Thing You Do! (1996)
In the film “That Thing You Do!” Tom Hanks plays the manager of a fictional band called The Wonders. The movie is set in the 1960s, and the band’s hit song is, you guessed it, called “That Thing You Do!” This catchy tune bears a striking resemblance to Elvis Presley’s music, particularly his early rock and roll hits. In fact, Hanks even had his actors study footage of Presley’s performances to help them capture the energy and vibe of the time accurately.
3. Captain Phillips (2013)
“Captain Phillips” tells the true story of a cargo ship’s hijacking by Somali pirates in 2009. Tom Hanks plays Captain Richard Phillips, and in one intense scene, he sings “Please Release Me (Let Me Go)” to calm himself down and communicate with the pirates. This song choice may seem random, but it was actually a nod to Elvis Presley. In his younger days, Elvis would often perform this song at concerts, making it an unexpected yet fitting reference in the movie.
The Connection Between Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks
Aside from their shared love for music and acting, Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks have another significant connection – they both have been honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States, recognizing individuals who have made significant contributions to the nation’s security, world peace, and cultural endeavors.
Elvis Presley received this prestigious award posthumously in 1977, just months after his passing. He was recognized for his contributions to popular culture and his influence on American music. Tom Hanks received the award in 2016, honoring his outstanding achievements in film as well as his philanthropic work. It’s a rare honor to share such a prestigious award, and it speaks to the impact both Presley and Hanks have had on American society.
Exploring the Relationship Between Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks
While we know that Tom Hanks has been heavily influenced by Elvis Presley and his career, there are also deeper connections between these two icons. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks.
1. They Both Share a Southern Upbringing
Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks both hail from the South, with Presley being born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Hanks in Concord, California, before moving to Oakland, California. Growing up in the South had a significant impact on both of their lives and careers. For Presley, it meant being exposed to gospel, country, and blues music, which heavily influenced his sound. And for Hanks, it meant growing up with a strong sense of community and family values, which he has carried throughout his life.
Elvis Presley famously served in the United States Army from 1958 to 1960, during the height of his career. He was stationed in Germany and received an honorable discharge upon his return. Similarly, Tom Hanks has also had connections to the military. His father served in World War II, and his grandfather fought in World War I. Additionally, Hanks played Captain John Miller, a U.S. Army Ranger, in the film “Saving Private Ryan.”
3. They Both Have Been Honored by the Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is a world-renowned museum and research complex that honors individuals who have made significant contributions to American culture and history. Both Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks have been recognized by the institution for their contributions. Presley’s iconic gold lamé suit is part of the National Museum of American History collection, and Hanks’ film “Forrest Gump” is included in the National Film Registry, which preserves films deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
How Elvis Presley Inspired Tom Hanks’ Career
Tom Hanks has made no secret of his admiration for Elvis Presley and how much the King of Rock and Roll has influenced his career. But beyond specific roles and performances, there are several ways in which Presley inspired Hanks’ approach to acting and navigating the entertainment industry.
Tom Hanks: A Fan of Elvis Presley
First and foremost, Tom Hanks is a die-hard fan of Elvis Presley. In interviews and public appearances, he has always spoken highly of Presley and his music. Hanks has even shared that if he could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, it would be Elvis Presley. This level of admiration is a testament to how much Presley has influenced Hanks and the impact he continues to have on him.
Comparing the Lives of Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks
While their careers may seem vastly different, there are several parallels between the lives of Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks. Both rose to fame at a young age and became cultural icons in their respective fields. They also both struggled with the pressures of fame and the constant spotlight on their personal lives. Additionally, they both used their platform for philanthropy, with Presley starting the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation and Hanks founding the Hanks Family Foundation.
Elvis Presley Tom Hanks: Two Icons in Their Own Right
Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks are undeniably two of the most influential individuals in entertainment history. They both made a name for themselves and left an indelible mark on popular culture. While Presley will always be remembered for his music and electrifying performances, Hanks will go down in history as one of the most talented and versatile actors of all time. And it’s safe to say that Elvis Presley’s influence played a significant role in shaping Hanks’ career and success.
The Similarities and Differences Between Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks
While Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks have many similarities, there are also some notable differences between them. Let’s take a deeper look at the similarities and differences between these two icons.
- Southern roots
- Military connections
- Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
- Recognized by the Smithsonian Institution
- Used their platform for philanthropy
- Cultural icons in their respective fields
- Different fields (music vs. acting)
- Different eras of fame
- Different struggles with fame
- Hanks’ career is still ongoing, while Presley’s ended prematurely
Elvis Presley Tom Hanks: A Dynamic Duo
In conclusion, it’s clear that Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks share a special connection that goes beyond the surface. From Presley’s influence on Hanks’ early love for music to the ways in which he has inspired and shaped Hanks’ career, the impact of the King of Rock and Roll cannot be denied. And while they may have different backgrounds and journeys, they have both left an undeniable mark on popular culture, making them a dynamic duo in their own right.
So the next time you watch an Elvis Presley movie or listen to a Tom Hanks performance, remember the surprising connection between these two icons and how their paths have crossed over the years. It’s a testament to the enduring legacy of both Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks and their lasting impact on the world of entertainment.