Forrest Gump was released 20 years ago this summer. While it was expected to be a hit—it starred Tom Hanks on the heels of an Oscar win for Philadelphia—nobody expected it to be a cultural phenomenon. Here are a few interesting Forrest Gump facts you may not know.
- Tom Hanks based Forrest’s Southern accent on that of Michael Conner Humphreys—the child actor who played Forrest as a child early in the film.
- John Travolta passed on the chance to play the title role, which he later said he regretted. He did Pulp Fiction instead, for which he was Oscar-nominated for Best Actor. He lost to…Tom Hanks for Forrest Gump. (Hanks became the first back-to-back winner since Spencer Tracy in 1937-38.)
- In this movie, Sally Field and Tom Hanks play mother and son. In the 1988 film Punchline, Sally Field is Tom Hanks’ romantic interest.
- Gump made $329 million in its initial box office run, the top grossing film of the year, beating out The Lion King and True Lies. In March 1995, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture, only the 13th film in history to be both the biggest blockbuster of a calendar year and win Best Picture.
- Director Robert Zemeckis cast actor Peter Dobson for a small role as Elvis Presley, who learns his signature dance moves from child Forrest. But who performed the voice of Elvis? Kurt Russell, who portrayed the King in the 1979 TV movie Elvis, and actually starred with Presley in the 1963 movie It Happened at the World’s Fair.
- At her gravesite, Forrest tells Jenny that she “died on a Saturday.” Her tombstone says she died on March 22, 1982—a Monday.
- In 1996, “Weird Al” Yankovic parodied the Presidents of the United States of America’s hit “Lump” with a Forrest Gump-themed song called “Gump.” The last line of “Lump” is “is this lump out of my head” becomes “and that’s all I have to say about that” in “Gump,” one of the most memorable lines from Forrest Gump. The Presidents liked Yankovic’s line so much that that’s the one they use when performing “Lump” live.