“You’re too much of a supernova”: Tom Hanks Revealed Why He Didn’t Cast Charlize Theron as Lead in His $34M Cult-Classic Directorial Debut

Tom Hanks is among the A-listers in the Hollywood industry who rose to prominence in the 1980s. Having been known for projects like The Money Pit, The Pacific, and Robert Langdon among several others, he is already a renowned cultural icon in America. Back in 1995, he decided to kick off his filmmaking career by writing and directing his own project.

Tom Hanks

Actor, Tom Hanks


He made his dream a reality by creating a 1996 film, That Thing You Do! which revolved around the story of the rise and fall of a fictional 1960s pop band, The Wonders. It starred an ensemble cast including Charlize Theron. While that project was a second in her acting career, she had eyes on the leading role but Hanks denied the idea.

Tom Hanks Refused to Cast Charlize Theron in The Leading Role in That Thing You Do!

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is now one of the leading actresses in the Hollywood industry who can go for any role she desires given her celebrity status. However, it was different when she approached Tom Hanks for a particular role in his directorial debut, That Thing You Do! 

The then-rising star portrayed the role of Tina Powers in the 1996 film but she had eyes on Faye Dolan’s role. According to the Philadelphia actor, the Atomic Blonde star was just 19 at the time when she read on the very first day of the audition.

He shared,

“She said, ‘Listen, I know I can play Tina, but I want to play Faye.’ I said, ‘I get that,’ but what I was thinking in my head was, ‘You’re too much of a supernova to play Faye.’ Casting her was such a coup.”

She was a rising star when the film was in development and gained critical acclaim when she starred in The Devil’s Advocate released just a year later. The then-new director was looking for some less-known personality for Faye’s role which eventually went to Liv Tyler.


Not Everything Was Good With Charlize Theron When She Auditioned for Tom Hanks’ Film

Charlize Theron in That Thing You Do! 

Charlize Theron in That Thing You Do!

During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, she shared her experience auditioning for her second film project.

Stating about how her audition went at the time, she shared, “It was not good!”

She was puzzled as to how she ended up getting the role.

“I don’t know why he gave me the role, I mean, honestly.”

It was because she got starstruck after meeting her idol, Tom Hanks who was later on, co-starring with her in the film.

“I was so nervous. Imagine you’re 19 and you meet this idol. I idolized him! I watched Turner and Hooch like 500 times. So to audition for somebody like that, it’s frightening.”

While she opened up about doing silly mistakes while auditioning for her Hanks regarding the 1996 project, it all went well. Even film co-producer, Ed Saxon shared that the actor had nothing but a good impression of her.


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