South African born actress Charlize Theron recalled her childhood in South Africa as she paid tribute to Hollywood legend Tom Hanks at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.
Tom received this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contribution to the world of entertainment” and was handed the Globe by Charlize.
In her speech to Tom, the 44-year-old actress said that growing up as an 8-year-old in South Africa her three most prized possessions were her ballet shoes, her pet goat, and her VHS cassette of the film Splash starring Tom.
According to Charlize, she watched the tape so many times that the ribbon broke and she had to fix it with Scotch tape (Sellotape in South Africa).
“There was this filthy duck pond on our farm that I would splash around in waiting for Tom to rescue me and show me Manhattan,” Charlize said.
Years later in 1996 exactly that happened when Tom gave Charlize her first big breakthrough in Hollywood and cast her in the film That Thing You Do.
Recalling the audition Charlize said: “I remember after my first read I thought I completely blew it. I didn’t know where I was or who I was, and I had somehow forgotten to breathe. Tom just kindly looked at me, took a beat, and said ‘I’m sorry Charlize, would you mind giving me just five minutes? I just need to step out. I’ll be right back and then we’ll do that scene again’.”
She added: “Tom didn’t need five minutes. I needed five minutes. Those five minutes were a gift to me because he saw a nervous, sweaty young actress failing to mask a panic attack and a thick South African accent. That’s the kind of man he is. This is why we love Tom.”
The Bombshell star ended her speech with: “The most undeniable thing that can be said about Tom Hanks is both deceptively simple and yet overwhelmingly true…he just makes the world a better place.”
Previous winners of the prestigious award include Audrey Hepburn, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Oprah Winfrey to name just a few.