Tom Hanks has starred in some of the most famous films in American history, but his wife, Rita Wilson, revealed there was one iconic role he turned down: Harry, in the 1989 rom-com When Harry met Sally. According to Wilson, Hanks said no to the role because he was very happy about the divorce at the time.
That’s right — according to a new interview with Wilson on iHeart Podcast’s Table for two with Bruce PoseyHanks was enjoying his divorce so much that he couldn’t imagine the character of the movie focusing on heartbreak.
“[Hanks] Wilson explained that he turned it down because he was going through a divorce and was very happy not to be married. And so he couldn’t understand that a person going through a divorce would have anything other than a simple “I’m so happy.”
The divorce was between Hanks and his first wife, Samantha Lewis. The two married for the first time in 1978, but had divorced by 1987. Hanks had met Wilson a few years earlier on the set of the 1985 movie, volunteers. In 1988, a year ago When Harry met Sally It premiered, Hanks and Wilson got married, and apparently brought an end to his “I’m So Happy to Be Divorced” arc.
After Hanks, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Keaton, and Albert Brooks were offered the role of Harry, but they all turned it down. Billy Crystal – who had just worked with director Rob Reiner in 1987 princess bride – he eventually starred with Meg Ryan.
Sending the script to Hanks wasn’t a complete waste, Wilson explained. “I loved the script,” she told Busey, “I read it when it came in, and flipped out.” Already a fan of the film’s writer, Nora Ephron, the script increased Wilson’s admiration for her. When the two met at a party not long after, Wilson asked to audition for Efron’s next project, Sleepless in Seattle She ended up getting a role, and her husband, Hanks, starred in the movie.
So, who knows – if Hanks hadn’t had so much fun with his divorce, When Harry met Sally He could have created an entire trilogy of popular rom-coms starring Hanks and Ryan. Hey, maybe there’s still a chance for that… Hanks is set to be digitally aged for the upcoming Robert Zemeckis movie, hereAnd with this technology on the table, he gets rid of age When Harry met Sally A reboot could actually become a possibility.