Thanks to Susan for sending this in!
TV WEEK (Australia)
May 27-June 2, 2000
Tom’s Boy Colin
By Jenny Cooney Carrillo
Colin Hanks of Roswell fame, knows that he will be compared to his
famous father, two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks.
He considered how he could distance himself from his father’s career,
but then realised a family connection is one thing in life you can never
“I though about changing my name but that would have been stupid because
people would have found out and then I’d have to field questions like,
‘Why did you change your name?�’, so it’s not really going to work for
me,” Colin says with a grin, talking to TV WEEK on the set of Roswell,
the drama that marks his TV acting debut.
“There are some benefits to being Tom Hanks’ son, but there are also
many more negatives. It’s a double-edged sword.”
One of two children born to Tom and his first wife, actress Samantha
Lewes, Colin grew up in Sacramento, California, but moved to Los Angeles
to attend university. It was there he first caught the acting bug.
“People always say that I’m following in my father’s footsteps,” he
says, “but just because we’re in the same profession it doesn’t mean
that I’m like him, though we do have a lot of similar personal traits.
Acting was just something that I wanted to do and the fact that he
happens to do it too is just a freak of happenstance.:
But how does his superstar dad feel about his son’s new job?
“Oh, he’s stoked,” Colin says. “He’s glad that his kid is working so
that he doesn’t have to pay my rent anymore! He’s very proud of me and
often mentions me in his own interviews to encourage people to watch our
show, which is cute.”
In Roswell, the 22-year-old actor plays Alex Whitman, the oft-maligned
but cute sidekick to the trio of space aliens and the two girls who
share their secret and attend their high school in Roswell, site of the
rumoured 1947 alien spacecraft crash.
Although in real life, government officials have always maintained that
a weather balloon was the culprit, the fascination with what really
happened in the New Mexico town that year has endured and inspired this
drama, which fictionalises a trio of teenagers who are surviving
descendants of aliens killed in that crash.
“My college room-mate had actually written his high school thesis about
Roswell so I knew a lot,” Colin says. “It’s fun to be part of a
science-fiction show because we�re creating our own mythology like The
X-Files, of which I’m a huge fan.”
Although Colin was only seven when his parent divorced, he remains close
to his father and has enjoyed some of the perks of being related to the
man who starred in Apollo 13 and won an Emmy Award for producing the
acclaimed TV miniseries From The Earth To The Moon.
“I’ve met a lot of the original astronauts, men that have actually
walked on another planet, so I feel very lucky,” he says.