In 1994, Forrest Gump was released in cinemas across the United States. The film about the simple, yet lucky and kindhearted man named Forrest quickly became a hit and even won six Academy Awards.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 25 years since this beloved film was released. I’m sure I’m not the only one who still watches it every year when I need cheering up.
There’s no line as iconic as Tom Hanks’ “Life is like a box of chocolates.” So of course, I was ecstatic to share these amazing facts which show just how special the movie really was.
I can bet at least one of these will surprise you. Here are 10 facts you never knew about Forrest Gump.
1. Tom Hanks was not the first choice for Forrest Gump.
It’s true. The film’s director originally wanted John Travolta for the role but he turned it down. It was then offered to both Chevy Chase and Bill Murray but neither of them were interested. Finally, the director agreed on Tom Hanks who I think was the perfect choice. Somehow, I can’t see Bill Murray running like Hanks did.
2. Kurt Russell had an uncredited part in the film
Kurt Russell later claimed he was the voice of Elvis Presley in the film but was never credited. We can believe it though, since he played Elvis in a 1979 TV movie.
3. The Vietnam scene had actual dialogue
Remember when Forrest tried to give a speech about the war in Washington DC but couldn’t because the microphone plug was pulled? It turned out the scene had actual dialogue. Hanks later said the speech went like, “Sometimes, when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That’s all I have to say about that.”
4. Forrest Gump wears a blue plaid shirt at the beginning of every age change.
See for yourself.
5. The book’s writer never made a cent from the film
After the movie became a success, the book’s writer, Winston Groom, revealed that he was never paid for the story. According to him, the film’s studio claimed they could not pay him due to an ‘accounting error.’ Sure…
6. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a real restaurant
After Forrest Gump became a hit, Paramount Studios approached Rusty Pelican Restaurants to create a restaurant inspired by the film. Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is now a successful chain restaurant with locations around the world.
7. Some cool scenes were left out of the movie
The film’s director actually planned several other special effect shoots. In one of them, Forrest Gump runs into Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters just as they were being attacked by several dogs. Forrest manages to distract the dogs by playing Fetch with them and allowing Dr. King and his supporters to leave unharmed.
8. A tourist got a speaking part in the film
The reporter who was on the scene in Washington after Forrest returned from Vietnam was not a real actor. He was actually a tourist from Atlanta, Georgia who was touring Capitol Hill and was asked by the film’s makers to read the lines.
9. Tom Hanks didn’t get paid for the film
Hanks chose not to get paid for the role. Instead he chose to collect percentage points which allowed him to collect a portion of the film’s profits. At last count, he’d made about $40 million.
10. The ball wasn’t real
There was no ball in the game of ping pong which Forrest played. Instead, a CGI ball was created and moved to meet the actors’ paddle. That does account for the ball’s speed but I always thought it was real.
Did you already know about any of these facts?