Veteran screen actor Tom Hanks has starred in more than 80 films throughout the course of career and we'd wager the majority of filmgoers would say his hits outnumber any misses. But what does Hanks himself think of his track record?
The Oscar winner said he considered four of his films "pretty good" in an interview with PEOPLE published Tuesday. "No one knows how a movie is made — though everyone thinks they do," he said. "I've made a ton of movies (and four of them are pretty good, I think) and I'm still amazed at how films come together."
"From a flicker of an idea to the flickering image onscreen, the whole process is a miracle," Hanks said. The process, he added, is "very hard work over a very long period of time that consists of so many moments of joy slapped up against an equal number of feelings of self-loathing." He added, "It is the greatest job in the world and the most confounding of labors that I know of."
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images Tom Hanks
Indeed, the actor knows a thing or two about show-biz. His experiences in Hollywood serve as the basis of his first novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece (out May 9, 2023 via Penguin Random House), a piece of fiction centered on the making of a star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film. The novel spans several decades, beginning in 1947 and following a troubled soldier who returns from the war.
The World War II vet leaves an indelible impression on his comic book artist nephew, who creates an illustrated story about his uncle that's adapted into a contemporary superhero film in present day. "Every character in the book does something I've experienced while making a movie, as well as discovered a philosophy or learned an important lesson," Hanks said. "Even the foolish moments are some kind of stunt I've pulled or mistake I've survived."
Hanks discussed the films he values most on an episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast from last year. The actor was asked to rank his favorite films, excluding the Oscar-winning drama Forrest Gump, and he listed Cloud Atlas, A League of Their Own, and Cast Away. The ranking was based on the personal experiences he had while working on the films, he said.
Jay Maidment/Warner Bros. Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in 'Cloud Atlas'
Cloud Atlas, Hanks said, was "the first time I'd ever shot extensively in Germany and I was surrounded by history." He said, "But the work itself, we were part of this big, massive ensemble of fantastic people who were just trying to do the hardest, best work on a deep throw."
Hanks' extensive filmography also includes Splash, The Green Mile, Big, Catch Me If You Can, Sleepless in Seattle, Saving Private Ryan, and the Toy Story franchise. His most recent credits include Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic Elvis and Robert Zemeckis' live-action Pinocchio.
For our take on the actor's career, see EW's list of his most iconic roles.
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