Colin HanksLeading

Five Questions With Colin Hanks

From “The Bergen Record”:

Five questions with Colin Hanks
Friday, March 17, 2000

The Associated Press

Being the acting son of a well-known actor is tough. Being the acting son of two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks is tougher.

But 22-year-old Colin Hanks has set out on his own, attempting to make it by himself in his TV acting debut on the WB series “Roswell.”

This show is about a group of teens who share a secret tied to the crash of an alien spacecraft near Roswell, N.M., in 1947. “I know. It sounds crazy. When I first read it, I had a hard time explaining it. So now basically I end up just saying, ‘Just watch the show, please,'” Hanks said.

In the series, Hanks plays an oft-maligned — but cute — sidekick, the odd man out to a pair of space aliens and their girlfriends. He’s a ladies’ man, of sorts; the advice guy for the pretty girls.

One of two children born to Hanks and first wife, Samantha Lewes, he grew up in the very un-Hollywood atmosphere of Sacramento, Calif., then attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he began appearing in stage productions.

Hanks has a part in the not-yet-released feature film “I’ll Be You,” billed as a high school version of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” and he had a small part in his father’s 1996 movie “that thing you do!”

Q. At what point did you decide to take the acting career path?

A. It wasn’t like I was thinking, ‘I can’t wait to be an actor. I can’t wait to do this.’ I just sort of always knew. For me, it’s like playing with toys. It’s playtime. It’s make-believe time. I always liked that growing up. It wasn’t until really a year and a half ago, I decided to give it a shot and see if I really could hack it.

Q. Have you noticed people treating you differently now that you’re in the spotlight?

A. Obviously, I’ve been around that for ages. But I was always the one not being recognized, and now I am. It is sort of strange. I must admit, I have had some uncomfortable moments. But I’ve had some really cool moments, too.

Q. Is there something you do to prepare for it?

A. It’s not something you can prepare for. I think it’s sort of a joke if you think about it too much and you try to avoid it. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. There are very many aspects to working as an actor. I’ve understood that for a while now. … It is very strange to be in the shoes now. I’m not saying I’m 100 percent comfortable with it. I’m not saying I ever will be comfortable with it.

Q. Do you worry about people drawing comparisons between you and your father?

A. Very, very much so. Obviously, people are going to draw whatever comparisons they want. That’s completely fine. People are going to want to know about it. That’s completely fine. I can see their point of view. But overall, I’m just like any other kid on the show. I auditioned for the part. I went through 18 million callbacks. I had to do the final testing just like everyone else.

Q. Are there more expectations of you because of your father?

A. Sure. People’s first instinct is, ‘Is he any good? Can he cut it by himself or is he just riding the coattails?’ It’s fine. But I can’t wait until I don’t have to deal with it anymore and it hasn’t even really hit too much. I’ve been working on the show and I haven’t been really in the public eye all that much. But when I am, there is nothing I can do about it. People are going to do what they are going to do, and I just have to learn to keep going and doing my own thing.