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Tom Hanks Wildly Underestimated the Impact of Forrest Gump’s Box of Chocolates

Iconic actor Tom Hanks reveals he wildly underestimated the impact of the classic ‘box of chocolates’ line introduced to audiences in Forrest Gump.

Throughout cinematic history, there are a handful of iconic movie moments and film quotes that have endured. Forrest Gump‘s “life is like a box of chocolates” line is right up there with the most memorable of them. But star Tom Hanks recently revealed he had no idea the line would have such a substantial impact on the film.

In an interview with CinemaBlend, Hanks recalled filming that moment on the bench. “I will tell you, in Forrest Gump, all the stuff that we shot on the park bench in Savannah, Georgia, we were just shooting interstitial stuff. We were just shooting fodder for a possible narrative piece of it. And I said to Bob (Zemeckis), ‘Is anyone going to care about this nut sitting on a (bench)? What is this? No one knows what’s in this (box) I mean…’”

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He continued, “We ended up shooting, it was probably like, you know, 13 pages of dialogue that we had to shoot in a day and a half. And so it was written on cue cards. (And) I didn’t need the cue cards after a while because you get into it. But Bob says, ‘I don’t know, it’s a minefield, Tom, it’s a minefield. You never know what people are gonna take away from it!’ And it ends up being, you know, that thing.”

The award-winning actor went on to say, “There is a moment where, I think, an actor making a movie realizes that you have to forget everything. You have to forget all the distractions about what’s going on, because it really is shots. It’s a moment in real time, captured in real time. It’s 13 seconds, or it’s two minutes of a scene. And it’s not just slate, say it, cut, action. You actually have to be there in a way… you don’t want to toot your own horn, but it has to be, it has to carry with it, in that scene, every moment of the theme of the movie”

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Forrest Gump was directed by Robert Zemeckis with a screenplay written by Eric Roth. The Academy Award-winning film was based on a 1986 novel of the same name, written by author Winston Groom. The film, which differs from the novel, tells the story of a slow-witted and kind man who finds himself involved in some of the most notable events in history.

Upon release, it was widely praised and became a box office success, ultimately earning $678.2 million on a budget of $55 million.

Source: CinemaBlend

Narayan Liu (/Nəraɪʌn Lɪʊ/ in IPA) is a contributing features and news writer, and junior editor at CBR. From Hong Kong, currently based in Sweden. Nowadays Narayan writes about films, TV shows, comic books and video games, or about anything related to The Witcher. He does this while studying language, culture, and communication at Linnaeus University. You can follow him on his blog (, on Twitter (@Narayan_Liu) or contact him directly at Narayan(dot)Liu(at)

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