In what can best be described as a public perception moment contrary to his very essence, Tom Hanks is sad. When the two-time Oscar winner sat down Friday (April 22) opposite John Oliver for a career retrospective, he revealed a none-too-kind opinion that he sees as fact.
“[I] peaked in the ’90s,” he says.
Of course this being Tom Hanks, we have to assume this wasn’t a moment of self-pity but rather a joke, fueled by his endearingly self-deprecating persona. C’mon Tom, Beanie Babies peaked in the ’90s! But you, sir, are timeless — and that’s why you should read on for an exploration of your various career decades, and which one is the best.
Tom Hanks might be the ultimate decade superstar, because his career literally began at the beginning of the 1980’s. With his charming smile and quick wit, Hanks quickly booked roles on shows like “The Love Boat” and “Taxi,” then broke through with the short-lived but very-loved sitcom “Bosom Buddies.” By the end of the decade, he was a superstar.
Best Movies: “Bachelor Party,” “Big,” “The ‘Burbs”
The man does have a point, even if he was joking about the ’90s being his peak. Decades from now, aspiring actors will still look back in awe at a decade that began with the cult classic “Joe Versus the Volcano” and ended two Oscars later — oh yeah, he also managed to launch a little voiceover gig called the “Toy Story” movies.
Best Movies: “Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia,” Saving Private Ryan”
With the turn of the century came an earnest effort by Hanks to dramatize and diversify his work in Hollywood. “Road to Perdition” is an underrated gem, the years have been very kind to Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can,” and “The Polar Express” was a brave experiment that came just a few years before Hollywood finally got past its “Uncanny Valley” problem.
Best Movies: “Cast Away,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “The Terminal”
How is it we can be six years into this decade, and still not know what to call it? Anyway, the ’10s have seen Hanks transitioning nicely into what we’ll call the “uncle” roles. He’s too old to be a dad, too young to be a grandfather — but just the right age for your uncle to love everything he does. “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks” both garnered Oscar consideration, and “Larry Crowne” … well, it was fun to see him ride a scooter.
Best Movies: “Bridge of Spies,” “Toy Story 3”
Uh, yeah Tom …. you’re actually right. You kinda did peak in the ’90s, but wow, your ’90s was amazing!
Cheer up: In various polls over the last few years, you are regularly cited as the most trusted person in America. Not the most trusted actor, mind you .., but the most trusted human being in the entire country! With that in mind, we trust that your next great movie is just one script away … and if not, you could always make “Turner & Hooch 2.”