Tom Hanks, the loveable actor who has been charming movie-goers for decades, is back this week with a new movie and a new diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. And as you may have already guessed, he has a fantastic attitude about both.
Hanks’ new film, Captain Phillps, opened this weekend to rave reviews. In the movie, Hanks plays the title role of Richard Phillips, a hard working merchant marine whose ship was hijacked and kidnapped by Somali pirates back in 2009 while delivering food, water, fuel, and other good to Kenya. Critics are claiming Hanks to be superb, brilliant, and definitely Oscar worthy. In short, once again, Hanks can do no wrong. He is unstoppable. Or, is he?
Earlier this week, on a scheduled appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman to promote the new movie, Hanks dropped a bombshell. He had recently been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The disease, which had been in a pre-diabetic phase for years, had finally come to full scale. Hanks states that he had been experiencing higher than normal blood sugar numbers since he was 36 and a recent checkup showed that the numbers had progressed.
In fact, Hanks is the most recent in a slew of celebrities coming forth and going public with Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. Other stars include The View’s Sherri Sheppard and celebrity chef and lover of butter, Paula Deen.
Weight is more often than not a determining factor in the disease. Hanks has a long history with adding and dropping weight for his movie roles. Beginning in 1992 when it was reported that he gained over 30 pounds in order to play Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own. In 1993 he lost nearly as much weight to play the role of Andrew Beckett, a lawyer suffering with HIV, in Philadelphia, a role that earned him his first Oscar. Then he gained then lost more than 50 pounds to play Chuck Noland in 2000’s Cast Away.
You often hear of actors complaining about the physical toll put on their bodies by their movie roles. Stunts often lead to injuries. But the very act of losing and gaining weight for a movie role may be more physically draining. When you need to gain 50 pounds in a short amount of time you aren’t necessarily doing so by eating healthier foods. Many actors claim to gorge on donuts, entire sticks of butter, everything fried, and all of it usually forbidden. Of course the weight comes off eventually. But do the effects of your temporary unhealthy lifestyle stick around? Possibly.
Will this most recent health concern hurt Hanks’ movie career? Not a chance. You don’t win an Oscar two consecutive years in a row and just fade away. Hanks may have to be a little choosier about future roles in terms of gaining additional poundage. That just means he’ll have to find other ways to keep movie-goers coming back for more.
By: Mary Kay Love