Tom Hanks had some of Hollywood’s most popular movies in the late ’90s and early 2000s. There is even a real-life restaurant chain named after his iconic Forrest Gump character’s shrimping business. Through the decades we’ve gotten to see him star as many different roles both whimsy-filled like Forrest Gump and more serious like Saving Private Ryan.
Cast Away Success
Of all of the Tom Hanks movies, Cast Away was one of his most dramatic performances and a crowd favorites. Director Robert Zemeckis’ Golden Globe-winning film grossed over $429 million at the box office and is rated 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The story centers on a FedEx employee, Chuck Noland, who survives a plane crash and lands on a deserted island in the South Pacific ocean. Using the remains of the plane crash’s cargo he fights to survive for as long as he can (4 years) alone, along with his a volleyball from Wilson Sporting Goods that he personifies with the name “Wilson.” Tom Hanks stars with Helen Hunt as his girlfriend, Kelly Frears, and Nick Searcy is a confidant in this survival drama.
Cast Away was filmed on one of the Mamanuca Island in Fiji known as Monuriki Island. While Fiji is incredibly beautiful, the thought of surviving on a deserted island is terrifying. It took countless crew members to make the movie come to life. Hanks, however, was still met with difficulties during filming. For starters, he had to gain and then lose 50 pounds.
After the first half of the movie was shot, production paused to allow Hanks to grow out his hair, beard and lose those fifty pounds he’d put on all for that authentic “stranded on an island” look. During filming, thanks to a gnarly, unexpected leg injury, the actor almost died. It started off as a cut on his leg. It later turned into a Staph infection. Onsite medical workers quickly identified the problem and sent Hanks to receive immediate care. Through an interview with BBC, he stated:
“[Cast Away] put me in the hospital. I was there for three days with something that, believe it or not, almost killed me,” he revealed at the time…”I went to the doctor who took one look and said, ‘I have to put you in the hospital because we have to get this infection out of you before it poisons your blood and you die.’ “