Why Tom Hanks Didn't Want Charlize Theron to Play His Leading Lady

Tom Hanks has a reputation for being one of Hollywood's nicest guys.

In fact, the actor's widespread appeal with audiences can be attributed to his down-to-earth, everyman charisma.

And among his co-stars, Tom Hanks and-hashtag-8212; who has a long list of film credits and-hashtag-8212; have a similar relationship.

However, when it came time for Hanks to cast Charlize Theron as his leading lady in a new film, he refused. Here's why.

In the mid-1980s, Tom Hanks made the transition from television to film with films like Splash, Big, and Turner, as well as Hooch.

He won back-to-back Academy Awards for his roles in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump less than a decade later.

Hanks has remained an A-list star since then.

One of the first things the actor did with his newfound clout was to write and direct That Thing You Do in 1996.

The Wonders, a fictional pop group from the 1960s, rises and falls in the film.

As the group's manager, Hanks plays a supporting role in the film, but it's a cast of up-and-comers who steal the show.

Tom Everett Scott, Johnathon Schaech, Steve Zahn, and Ethan Embry star as bandmates who become celebrities after their Oscar-nominated song "That Thing You Do!" becomes a smash hit.

When it came time to cast the film's female lead, Hanks went with Liv Tyler, who was best known at the time for her role in the cult classic Empire Records.

Theron also tried out for That Thing You Do! but was only cast in a supporting role.

Rather than playing the female lead, Faye, Theron played Tina, a minor character in the film.

And, as Hanks explained to The Ringer, he had a good reason for passing on Theron's chance to play the female lead in the film.

It's understandable that Hanks would see Theron's natural confidence as a bad match for Faye.

After all, in That Thing You Do!, part of the character's story involves her standing up for herself.

Hanks was also correct about Theron's star power, as the actor went on to become an A-list celebrity.

In 2004, Theron became the second woman after Tom Hanks to win an Academy Award for Best Actress for her chilling performance in Patty Jenkins' Monster.

Of course, the actor's career has had its ups and downs, but it didn't take long for Hollywood to notice her undeniable screen charisma.

Theron has evolved into an action star in addition to her compelling dramatic work in Monster, North Country, and Bombshell.

She stole the show from co-star Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road.

With Atomic Blonde, The Fate of the Furious, and The Old Guard in 2020, she continued her action streak.

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