Friday, February 13, 2015

Unassuming Cuteness

'It was the unassuming cuteness of the boy next door. With a naturally sunny, non-threatening disposition and a keen interest and enthusiasm for everything, his engaging personality was his most arresting trait. If you can remember Tom Hank’s character in Big, then you know Bond.'

Yes, this piece on actor Tom Hanks is indeed connected to Bond and the two features above. When Wes first talked about my featuring Bond last fall, he compared him, especially in their early sessions, to a young Tom Hanks. I remember one of his goals during a later shoot was to push the adorable Tom persona to the side and have Bond explore his darker, bad boy side.. his James Dean. I wasn't sure if I initially thought the Tom Hanks comparison was a compliment. Might have been because I had specific memory of Tom, but more of that later.

Hanks on Saturday Night Live (1991)

I thought of Wes's comments a couple of months ago while watching one of SNL's Saturday night repeats. It was a 1991 show with Tom as the host. The show took pretty much every opportunity to 'sex' up Mr. Hanks, having him shirtless in a couple of sketches, and in tight black pants acting tough as a roadie for Aerosmith in a Wayne's World sketch.

Tom Hanks was, and is an adorable man, but unlike the hot Mr. Bond, Mr. Hanks was never truly able to morph into actually being considered sexy. That's not to say he wasn't sexual, in fact in many of Hanks early roles, the directors and producers often used his mixture of man and boy to create sexual situations for his characters.

This brings me to my childhood memory. It was the early 90's and I was in grade 9 or 10 at the time. A bunch of my friends and I were at my friend Geoff's hanging out in the red room. I remember drinking black cherry Pop Shoppe and scarfing down salt and vinegar chips by the handful. In between recording Friday Night Videos, we were watching an VHS copy of Hanks 1989 flick Turner & Hooch. I distinctly remember getting a little hot and bothered over the many scenes of Hanks in his black briefs, especially the scene where he dragged poor old Hooch into the tub. It could not have been an accident there were so many close ups of Hank's in his undies with his butt in the air. At one point I had to leave the room and splash some cold water over my face.

Turner and Hooch

Hanks was often in fact required in those early films to strip down to his underwear, usually of course tiny briefs. That black pair in Turner and Hooch, his tight red undies in bed with Carrie Fisher in The Man With One Red Shoe and of course, his white, with blue striped underoo's in Big, the film that epitomized Hanks man/boy persona.

Big (1988)

The Man With One Red Shoe (1985)

Unlike the suave, sexy and debonair looks Bond pulls off, Hanks remain, well very much Hanks like as he has gotten older. Still a pleasant, good looking man, but still...not quite sexy. Hanks keeps his clothes mostly on these days, except for a brief nude scene in Charlie Wilson's War. It was a lot of fun re-watching some of Hank's earlier films, except The Burps, never finished getting through that one. It is also fascinating to think of someone as sexual, without necessarily being sexy. Makes me want to research other actors who might fit into under the same umbrella...

Forrest Gump (1994)

Turner and Hooch (1989)

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