He was bestowed with the honour of receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at Sunday’s 77th Golden Globes, and in an interview immediately afterwards, multi-talented industry stalwart and universally renowned nice guy Tom Hanks warmed our hearts as he enthusiastically paid tribute to his love of Greece, having become an honorary Greek citizen a week earlier.
*Watch Tom's acceptance speech here-
“I’ve been Hellenic now for the better part of 32 years,” Hanks told reporters.
The famous actor's love of Greece is as well documented as his reputation for being the nicest guy in Hollywood. He converted to the Greek Orthodox faith before marrying Greek American actress Rita Wilson (who’s mother was Greek) over 30 years ago and has been travelling to Greece for decades. The photo of Hanks helping carry the Epitaph on his shoulders at his local parish’s Good Friday procession goes viral each Easter, shared by millions of Greeks around the world on social media.
Along with Wilson, Hanks was also a producer on My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1 & 2, Mamma Mia! (which was set in Greece) and My Life in Ruins.
“Greece is a haven. I’ve been around the world, I’ve been in the most beautiful places in the world, none of them tops Greece!” Hanks said.
“The land, the sky, the water, it’s good for the soul, it’s a healing place. Particularly if you get into that fabulous Greek schedule of sleeping until noon, staying up until 3 o’clock in the morning and arguing in the taverna until 3am! It's just the best life one can have!"
His sense of humour was in full swing as he also joked good-naturedly with journalists, asking if his new honorary Greek citizenship meant he was required to do army service and pay taxes.
With an enviable repertoire of award-winning films spanning a stellar 40-year career, including Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Apollo 13 and the Toy Story franchise, his versatility as an actor has brought to life memorable roles and iconic scenes. Paired with kindness, humility, charm and family values, Greece could not ask for a better ambassador than Tom Hanks.
*Watch the video here-