There's no secret about how much 1994 and 1995 were watershed years for actor Tom Hanks winning back-to-back Best Actor Oscars for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). What people may not realize is as much as Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis believed in adapting the late Winston Groom's novel to film, Paramount Pictures put their foot down when it came to shooting sequences that exceeded production budget. Appearing on In Depth With Graham Bensinger, the two-time Academy Award-winner and four-time nominee broke down how he and Zemeckis agreed to pay the additional out-of-pocket-expenses needed to film certain crucial scenes.
"And [Bob] said, 'Well, this run is going to cost X amount of dollars,'" Hanks said. "And it wasn't cheap. And I said, 'OK'. He said, 'You and I are going to split that amount, and we're going to give it back [to Paramount]. We'll give you the money back, but you guys [Paramount] are going to have to share the profits a little bit more.' Which the studio said, 'Fabulous, great. OK.' And it was good for us, too." The other instance stemmed from insurance refusing to pay for coverage. "They said, 'The weather is such that we can't get the insurance coverage on it,' the studio said, 'So you guys can't shoot.' And Bob and I said, 'We'll cover the insurance.' And we did," Hanks recalled. The actor and directors' gamble paid off as its star earned a handsome $65 million when Forrest Gump became a blockbuster success. Winning six Oscars overall and currently ranked no. 12 in IMDb, the film earned $1 billion worldwide, which is phenomenal considering the original budget of $55 million and a domestic take of $330 million.
As if the adversity wasn't enough, Hanks admitted the first three days of filming was scrapped as he struggled to find the title character's voice. "Bob said, 'Look, I know what you are trying to do,'" he recalled. "' I know how nervous you are and how self-conscious this can be before we get into the groove. But we're not going to use any of these first three days because I don't think you've got it. You haven't got the character.' And I said, 'I don't. I don't. You're right.' And he just said, 'Don't try so hard.' And from that, everything settled down in a moment's notice."