The Tom Hanks scene that emotionally moved Bruce Springsteen

Over the course of a storied career, Tom Hanks has tugged at the heartstrings on more than a few occasions, but it was an unexpected entry in his filmography that left Bruce Springsteen compelled to share the impact it made on him.

As one of the best actors of his generation and one of modern cinema’s most popular stars, Hanks has repeatedly plumbed the emotional depths in the pursuit of success, which has reaped huge rewards for the wholesome hero and two-time Academy Award winner.

Along with his pair of ‘Best Actor’ wins for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, Hanks has laid himself bare in a number of emotional efforts including Cast AwaySaving Private RyanApollo 13The Green Mile, and Road to Perdition, all of which have the potential to extract at least one tear from even the most hard-hearted of viewers.

However, a period-set musical dramedy where Hanks is only the sixth-billed name in the ensemble doesn’t immediately jump out as one that would generate a visceral emotional reaction, although ‘The Boss’ would disagree after finding himself relating to That Thing You Do!

Hanks’ feature-length directorial debut follows the dizzying rise to fame of a fictional 1960s pop band when the titular song performed by The Oneders rockets them to worldwide success, fame, and fortune. A thinly-veiled riff on the Beatlemania craze, both the song and the film That Thing You Do! proved equally endearing.

The movie earned an Oscar nomination for ‘Best Original Song’ thanks to the title track and became a cult favourite, with Hanks sharing how the moment The Oneders hear their song being played on the radio for the first time was a scene that one of the most iconic musical artists on the planet readily identified with.

Per Entertainment Weekly, Hanks shared how Springsteen made a point of telling him, “Hey, I like that moment when they heard their record on the radio, same thing happened to us. We were all in a car, and we pulled over to the side of the road to listen to it.”

The members of an up-and-coming band stopping whatever it is that they’re doing to listen to themselves gaining airplay for the very first time has become a staple of the musical drama whether it’s biographical and fictional, but there’s a very good reason why it became such a cliché in the first place.

It’s an experience that many of the biggest names in music have lived themselves, something that’s in danger of being phased out now that the industry has changed to a point where radio very rarely marks the debut for any track hailing from an unknown group. Springsteen remembers it well when it happened to him, though, with Hanks capturing it perfectly on-screen.

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