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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Brogan-Leigh Hurst

Tom Hanks says movies Forrest Gump and Philadelphia 'couldn't be made now'

Actor Tom Hanks has acknowledged that two of the biggest films he has previously starred in could not be made today.

The 65-year-old Hollywood star - most famous for his roles in Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan - recently acknowledged that he would not be able to play his role as a gay man in 1993 movie Philadelphia today, and 'rightly so'.

Tom played the role of lawyer Andrew Beckett in the film, and his character - who was dying of Aids - gets fired from his job after his bosses discover his sexuality.

Tom told The New York Times Magazine: "Let's address, 'Could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now?' No, and rightly so.

Tom Hanks is famed for his roles in Forrest Gump and Philadelphia (Getty Images)
The actor as Andrew in movie Philadelphia (Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

"The whole point of Philadelphia was: don't be afraid. One of the reasons people weren't afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man.

"We’re beyond that now, and I don't think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy.

"It's not a crime, it's not boohoo that someone would say we are going to demand more of a movie in the modern realm of authenticity. Do I sound like I'm preaching? I don't mean to."

He went on to add that neither of the films he starred in could be made now in today's modern world, as times have changed.

Tom described both Philadelphia, for which he won an Oscar in 1993, and 1994 comedy-drama Forrest Gump, where he played a man with disabilities, as "timely movies, at the time, that you might not be able to make now".

Tom with Denzel Washington (Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

When he accepted his Oscar for Philadelphia, Tom spoke about the death toll caused by HIW/AIDs.

He said at the time: "I know that my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels.

"We know their names. They number a thousand for each one of the red ribbons that we wear here tonight. They finally rest in the warm embrace of the gracious creator of us all.

"A healing embrace that cools their fevers, clears their skin and allows their eyes to see the simple, self-evident, common-sense truth that is made manifest by the benevolent creator of us all and was written down on paper by wise men, tolerant men, in the city of Philadelphia 200 years ago."

The actor was speaking during an interview to promote the new Elvis Presley biopic, in which he plays the late rock and roll star's manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

He also starred in Forrest Gump (Universal Pictorial Press)

High-profile examples of straight performers playing LGBT characters include Rami Malek’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and Taron Egerton’s turn as Sir Elton John in Rocketman.

Last year, acclaimed British screenwriter Russell T Davies said straight actors should not play gay characters on screen.

Amid the debate over who should be allowed to play what roles, Russell compared a straight actor playing a gay character to black face.

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