Let me first say, I have always loved Tom Hanks. We both stuffed our bras, though for him, that was during a spell as Buffy on Bosom Buddies, and not before homeroom in 7th grade. I saw Big 24 times one summer. I even own Joe Versus the Volcano and sat through You've Got Mail without vomiting. You name it I've seen it—more than once. I cried when he got AIDS (Philadelphia), and again when he lost the moon (Apollo 13). The highlight came one summer, I was interning for Columbia Tri-Star (now Sony) Pictures in their promo dept. and was invited to attend the premiere of Sleepless in Seattle. Scorsese was there, Madonna was there, but who did I want to talk to? Tom Hanks. Mostly cause he was the kind of celebrity you could approach, and me being the kind of girl who stuffed her bra obviosuly lacked the self-confidence to step up to the likes of the then Material Girl. He was polite, kind, and asked me if I'd seen his wife after autographing my reserved seat sign. I still have it. It reads, “Linda, God Bless. Love, Tom Hanks” I keep it in my jewelry box next to my great grandmother's locket and my baby teeth.
So I feel it is my duty to defend him and his coiffure choice. I mean, sure when I saw the posters for The Da Vinci Code, I thought “what the fuck?!” Same as you. Test audiences were hung up on his hair (they hated it), some fear the movie will suffer because of it, and it's being trashed all around the country. It may be the biggest career-wrecking hair move since Kerri Russell chopped her locks mid-season of Felicity. But Hanks puts a lot of thought into the looks of his characters. And when I went over his most successful roles, a pattern emerged. I realized, quite simply, there is genius in each follicle, each strand is an actor telling a story. There is emotion and depth in every wave, flip, and poof. His is hair is like Nicholson's eyebrows. If Meryl Streep were a head of hair, she'd be Tom Hanks'. Here's what his hair says in each film:
Forrest Gump– I am retarded but lovable…Look at me. I don't even have the guile to hide my receding hairline. I'm guileless. And so damned wholesome. And loveable. And retarded.
Castaway– I'm a wild man. The sun has bleached my flowing locks, and no, I don't have a brush. I have a volleyball. I am battling insanity, who could think about hair brushing at a time like this.
Big– Oh boy, I'm a big boy. Ain't I cute? Trapped inside me is a little boy. Where do you think this mischievous grin came from? I got pubes!! overnight!
Bosom Buddies– Yes, I'm the kind of guy who would dress up like a chick to save money on rent. Really, I look like half a chick already. You know how many dudes got perms in the 80s? This is all natural…
And just what does his hair say in the Da Vinci Code? According to Hanks, all scholars have long flowing locks. His hairdo says, “I'm smart. Smarter than you. I know things. Things you don't.” But ultimately, as one Newsweek source recently put it, “On the list of controversies that movie is going to have to weather, I think hair is probably pretty low.” Let's hope so. Let's hope so. God Bless YOU Tom Hanks, Love Linda