Tom Hanks Didn’t Think The Forrest Gump Park Bench Scenes Were Necessary


Tom Hanks says that initially he did not think that the iconic scenes on a park bench in “Forrest Gump” were necessary. Released in 1994, Robert Zemeckis’ Forrest Gump is now widely regarded as one of the defining films in Hanks’ career. In 1995, he even won an Oscar for Best Film. IQ 75, who relives the characteristic events of the 1960s and 1970s, including everything from the Vietnam War to the Watergate scandal, trying to reunite with his childhood sweetheart. The film became a hit with viewers and critics and grossed more than $ 678 million at the box office.

The action of “Forrest Gump” takes place in two main time frames: in the present, the main character of Hanks is sitting on a park bench and telling an eventful life story to everyone who is ready to listen. Gump holds a box of chocolates on his lap for scenes on a park bench, eventually uttering the now famous phrase: “My mom always said: life is like a box of chocolates, you never know which one you’re going to get.” In addition to Hanks, “Forrest Gump” has an outstanding supporting cast, including Sally Field, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise and Michaeltie Williamson.

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In a new interview with CinemaBlend, Hanks said that initially he did not agree with the scenes on the bench in Forrest Gump Park. The actor explains that he didn’t think the audience would be interested in scenes in which Gump just sits on a bench and talks to strangers. Hanks said it was unclear at the time how this sequence would meaningfully fit into the story. Check out his full comment below:

“I’ll tell you that in Forrest Gump, everything we shot on a park bench in Savannah, Georgia, we just shot as a basis for a possible narrative. And I told Bob [Zemeckis]: “Will anyone take care of this psycho sitting on the [bench]? What is it? Nobody knows what’s in this [box], I mean…” that we were supposed to shoot in a day and a half. And so it was written on the cards. You know, it’s a minefield, Tom, it’s a minefield, you never know what people will take away from it! And the result is, you know, this thing.”

Obviously, Zemeckis was right about the scenes on the park bench, because these are often the first scenes that come to mind for many when they think about Forrest Gump. Scenes with benches in the park are also widely used in the marketing of the film: on the poster “Forrest Gump”, Hanks’ character is depicted sitting on a bench on a white background. However, from Hanks’ description, it seems that Zemeckis has not officially decided how these now-beloved scenes on a park bench will fit into the overall story, so Hanks’ hesitation at the time is understandable.

Although many now believe that “Pulp Fiction” or “The Shawshank Redemption” more deserved the Oscar for best Film of that year, “Forrest Gump” remains a timeless classic film for countless viewers. It’s hard to imagine a movie without scenes on a park bench, given that Gump’s narration ultimately takes the whole story to a new level and helps viewers see important historical events through the eyes of the protagonist. Hanks may not have thought the park bench scenes were necessary at first glance, but “Forrest Gump” is all the better because Zemeckis intervenes to ensure the scenes find a place in the final version.