What's the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of Tom Hanks? Is it that he's been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times? Or is it that he has two wins? Perhaps it's his seven Emmys or four Golden Globes? Naturally, it could be the litany of iconic films in which he portrays a hero.
But what about the roles where Tom Hanks is not the greatest guy in the room? Perhaps even a bit of a ne'er-do-well? Or something else un-Hanks-ian? Yes, those films do exist. Here is a look at the roles that are most unlike the man almost everyone in Hollywood loves.
In Road to Perdition, Tom Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, a hitman working for the Irish mob in Chicago. As Sullivan, Hanks turns in a performance unlike any before. Protecting his young son after he witnesses a crime, Sullivan is calculating and lethal as he goes on a tireless spree fueled by revenge.
As Sullivan looks to flush out his former employer John Rooney (Paul Newman), he holds a side arm to the head of mob lackey Jack Kelly (David Darlow). Kelly tells Sullivan not to be stupid - that he's only the messenger. Sullivan pauses before saying, "Then give Mr. Rooney a message for me." Sullivan then fires.
In Joel and Ethan Coen's The Ladykillers, Tom Hanks plays Professor G.H. Dorr, a professional con artist that tries to charm his elderly landlady Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall). With the look and feel of a living, breathing cartoon character, Dorr is meticulously persistent in his off-the-wall measures while distracting Munson with a Southern drawl that is articulated beyond belief.
Following an explosion in the basement, Munson exclaims she is surprised by the ruckus. Dorr responds, "Well... uh... properly speaking, madam, we are surprised. You are taken aback. Though I do acknowledge that the sense that you intend is gaining increasing currency through its use, yes."
Eventually, Dorr and his crew decide they need to "off" the widow Munson as she is a potential witness to their criminal antics.
Set during the conflict between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, this based on a true story of Texas congressman Charlie Wilson features a rather promiscuous Tom Hanks as the titular character - womanizing and misusing his power all the way to the top of the political food chain. With many of the scenes taking place inside of a gentlemen's club, Wilson spends much of the movie trying to rally support to arm the Mujahideen, while not worrying about the consequences of who he hurts along the way.
As Wilson lays out his grand plan to President Zia (Om Puri), he says, "This thing is going to get done by the CIA and it's going to get done quietly." Zia asks if Wilson has the authority to do that, to which Wilson shrugs and replies, "None whatsoever."
Cloud Atlas is a film that put Tom Hanks's acting chops to the test. The Wachowskis' sci-fi epic takes place over different eras and casts Hanks in various roles, including a grotesque British mobster/author named Dermot Hoggins, complete with a goatee and a shaved head. During a party at a high-rise, Hoggins calls out a critic that gave his novel Knuckle Sandwich a poor review, throwing the reviewer off the roof. In Hoggins's warped mind, he believes this action will bring his book positive attention.
As the partygoers stand stunned, Hoggins exclaims, "Now that's an ending that is flat and inane beyond belief!"