Tom Hanks was 32 years old when he starred in the movie Big, which was released in 1988. In the movie, he played a 12-year-old boy named Joshua “Josh” Baskin, who wished to become big and turned into a 30-year-old man overnight. The movie was directed by Penny Marshall and also featured Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, and John Heard.
Tom Hanks’ Age in Big
Tom Hanks was born on July 9, 1956, which means he was 32 years old when Big was released on June 3, 1988. However, he was 31 years old when the film was shot in late 1987. Hanks had to portray both the childlike innocence and the adult maturity of Josh Baskin, who switches between his original and transformed bodies throughout the film. Hanks reportedly studied the mannerisms and speech patterns of David Moscow, who played the young Josh Baskin, to make his performance more convincing.
The Character and Storyline of Big
Baskin is the protagonist of Big, who lives in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, with his mother and sister. He has a crush on a girl named Cynthia Benson, who does not notice him. He also has a best friend named Billy Kopecki, who shares his love for comic books and video games. One night, Josh and Billy go to a carnival, where Josh sees Cynthia with another boy. Feeling dejected, he finds a Zoltar Speaks machine, a fortune teller arcade game that grants wishes. Josh inserts a coin and wishes to be “big”. The machine displays a message that says “Your wish is granted”, but Josh does not notice it as the power goes out.
The next morning, Josh wakes up as a 30-year-old man, played by Tom Hanks. He panics and tries to find the Zoltar machine, but the carnival has already left. His mother thinks he is an intruder and calls the police. Josh escapes and convinces Billy to help him. They find out that the Zoltar machine is owned by MacMillan Toys, a toy company in New York City. Josh decides to go there and ask for the machine’s location. He also gets a job as a data entry clerk at the company, using a fake identity and resume.
Josh impresses the company’s owner, Mr. MacMillan, played by Robert Loggia, with his childlike enthusiasm and honesty. He is promoted to a vice president position in charge of product development. He also meets Susan Lawrence, played by Elizabeth Perkins, a fellow executive who becomes his love interest. Josh rents a spacious loft apartment and fills it with toys and games. He enjoys his new life as an adult, but he also misses his family and friends.
Josh eventually finds the Zoltar machine and makes another wish to return to his original age. He tells Susan about his situation and she decides to drive him back to his home. Josh transforms back into his 12-year-old self and reunites with his family. Susan watches him from afar and smiles.
Impact and Legacy of Big
Big was one of the most successful films of 1988, grossing over $151 million worldwide against a budget of $18 million. It received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, who praised Hanks’ performance, Marshall’s direction, and the film’s humor and heart. Big was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actor for Hanks and Best Original Screenplay for Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg. It also won several awards from other organizations, such as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Hanks.
Big is widely considered one of the best films of the 1980s and one of the best comedy films of all time. It is also regarded as one of the most influential films in the fantasy genre, inspiring many other films that feature similar themes of body swapping, wish fulfillment, and growing up. Some examples are Vice Versa (1988), 13 Going on 30 (2004), 17 Again (2009), Shazam! (2019), and Little (2019).
Big has also been adapted into other media forms, such as a musical stage show in 1996, a television series in 1998, and a novelization in 1988. The film has also been referenced and parodied in many other works of popular culture, such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, South Park, Scrubs, and more.
Big is a classic film that showcases Tom Hanks’ talent as an actor and Penny Marshall’s skill as a director. It tells a charming and funny story of a boy who learns what it means to be an adult while living his dream. It also explores the themes of childhood, adulthood, identity, love, friendship, family, and happiness.
Big is a film that appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds, as it captures the universal emotions and experiences that everyone can relate to. Big is not only a great film, but also a cultural phenomenon that has left a lasting impact on the film industry and society at large.