Power Players

'You're a dope if you don't steal from everybody you've ever worked with,' says Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks, winner of the Cecil B. Demille Award, poses in the press room during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Award-winning actor Tom Hanks said he'd taken inspiration, or "stolen," from a long list of fellow Hollywood legends during his career, in a tearful acceptance speech at the 77th annual Golden Globes on Sunday night.

He counted co-stars Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts and Sally Field on that list.

Hanks received the Cecil B. deMille award at the ceremony for his "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment," an accolade named after the celebrated filmmaker.

The "Forrest Gump" actor, already the winner of eight Golden Globes, said he'd been "made better by watching some of the greatest actors that have ever walked the stage," naming Peter Scolari and Holland Taylor, with whom he starred in eighties sitcom "Bosom Buddies."

In his acceptance speech, Hanks also said he'd "never not been challenged, or flummoxed, or lost sleep" over his work.

Hanks said every filmmaker he'd worked with had at some point said to him "tomorrow, if you don't do your job really well, we don't have a movie," explaining that everyone on a filmset felt pressure to "do their job to perfection" in each movie shot.

Greatest lesson

Hanks credited the director on his first professional job, as an intern at the Great Lakes Shakespeare festival in 1977, for teaching him the "greatest lesson a young actor could possibly get."

Having "partied a bit little too much the night before" with fellow cast members, Hanks said the director yelled at them that their job as actors was to "show up on time … know the text and have a head full of ideas."

He urged young actors to follow the same advice, to "try anything" even if it's not used by the filmmaker and to know the whole movie script not just their part.

"Showing up on time is one of the greatest liberating acts you can give yourself in a movie," he added, as it avoided keeping crew waiting and gave enough time to "settle down" before shooting.

Previous winners of the Cecil B. deMille award include Streep, Washington and George Clooney.

As well as "Forrest Gump," Hanks is known for his leading roles in "Philadelphia" and "Sleepless in Seattle." Most recently, he portrayed television personality Fred Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for supporting actor.

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