Q: Has Tom Hanks ever done any singing roles?

« Back to Q & A

Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Not many. You pretty much have to be filmmaking great Robert Zemeckis, and then to hire composing greats Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard, if you want to get Tom Hanks ("Forrest Gump," 1994) to do a proper singing role.

Famed writer and director Zemeckis ("Back to the Future," 1985) directed Hanks in "Polar Express" (2004) and again in "Pinocchio" (2022), and those are pretty well the only times Hanks has done musical numbers on screen. And the songs he performed were all written by Silvestri and Ballard.

Cinemablend.com asked Silvestri and Ballard point-blank what the secret is to getting Hanks to sing on screen. Rather than just saying something along the lines of, "You have to be us," Silvestri talked about the importance of the song to the film.

"If there's a secret, I think it's something to do with is this piece of material really deserving to be in this film? And I think you can depend on Mr. Hanks to honor the intent of the film."

Hanks admits he's reluctant to sing on screen. But, because he is who he is, he did it in a charmingly self-deprecating way.

He produced the film adaptation of the classic stage musical "Mamma Mia" (2008) and joked on "The Graham Norton Show" about auditioning for a role. "I wanted to hire myself, but my singing voice would have scared the children."

You can catch snippets of him singing in some of his other films — he plays a ukulele and sings while stuck on a raft in "Joe Versus the Volcano" (1990), and does a pretty cringy rap on the soundtrack of his big-screen adaptation of "Dragnet" (1987). But the moments are brief, so they don't amount to a singing role (and what he does in "Dragnet" definitely isn't singing).


Have a question? Email us at questions@tvtabloid.com. Please include your name and town. Personal replies will not be provided.