The Secret to Tom Hank’s Cool

Tom Hanks is the nonpareil definition of “Mr. Nice Guy,” and we don’t mean “I’m a nice guy, why won’t girls sleep with menice guy.” No. Tom Hanks can GET IT, yet he chooses not to, because he’s a married man who loves his wife, damnit. He’s the Mother Theresa of Bosom Buddies, his kindness, sweetness, and patience know no bounds. But how does Tom Hanks do it? How does he keep his cool calm all the time? Coffee order wrong? No problem, he’ll still drink it. An essential worker scraped a row of shopping carts on his BMW? Ah, don’t stress, he’ll give them a living wage! Uh, oh, someone shot his dog?Don’t worry, Tom won’t go all John Wick, no, he’ll shrug it off, “The dog probably had it coming.” Nothing.Breaks.The man.

What’s his secret? How can he stay so Zen? We sat down with a famous special effects make-up artist who tells us how Tom Hanks gets to keep the label of “Hollywood Nice Guy” while still living a normal life like a jerk.

(Editor’s Note: This 7-time Oscar winning make-up artist wishes to be anonymous so we will call him Brick Raker.)

WH: Mr. Baker, oops, I mean Raker, don’t worry we’ll remove that.

Rick: Thank you.

WH: How did you start helping Mr. Hanks purge his rage?

Rick:He invited me to a party at his house and I accidentally walked into his sound proof Panic Room thinking it was a broom closet -I have an appreciation for brooms, they are like huge paint brushes, it’s a hobby of mine…

WH: Sure.

Rick:So anyway, Tom is just smashing the shit out of a Mazda Fiat with its own bumper while a Mini-Cooper watches, just screaming bloody rage. And I stop and go, “Tom, what’s wrong? It’s the 1980’s, you were just in the ‘The Money Pit’ with Shelley Long, you are a huge star, what do you have to be angry about?” And he says, “Everyone keeps calling me a ‘nice guy,’ I can’t stand it cause everything infuriates me! So, I have to bottle my anger and let it loose once a month. I’ve spent a fortune on cars, it’s why I have to keep acting, it’s a vicious cycle. I can’t let anyone know I’m a rage monster, which is a shame, cause now I will have to kill you.”SoI begged for my life -yada yadayada, told him I could make him look like someone totally different so he could go express himself with full anonymity and still be “Hollywood’s Nice Guy.”

WH: What was it like putting that make-up on him?

Rick: Terrifying.

WH: Why?

Rick: As he was transforming into this other person in the mirror he was just shaking. Like he couldn’t wait. The second the make-up was done and he was unrecognizable, he bursts through the door screaming, “I’m NOT HANKS!” I heard dogs barking, windows breaking, car alarms going off, then someone doing a great impression saying, “Get out of the car, I’m a nobody.” I think I heard gun shots and a car speeding off but that could have been more great voice acting. Either way, I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could, so I packed up my tiny paint brushes and fled to the hills.

WH: Was that the only time you did this?

Rick: I wish! Once Tom got a taste of anonymity and the police were looking for a suspect that didn’t exist, I had to keep creating new faces for him. It was a real challenge. Soon I he had to follow him around and do emergency make-up touch ups because of all the dirt, sweat, blood, and sometimes fire that would ruin the latex of his prosthetic face. One time he was robbing a bank and half the prosthetic almost melted off because of the SWAT Team’s flash grenades. I had to patch him up before the smoke and bullets cleared. It was probably the most demanding gig I’ve ever done since King Kong 1977 -man that ape used a lot of blush, we needed GIANT brushes, so we used brooms actually. It’s sort of a hobby for me to find…

WH: You told us.

Rick: Yes, that’s right. Sorry.

WH: So what was it like in a normal day and the life of “Not Hanks?”

Rick: Well, he wakes up early to send his family on a nice vacation or a ridiculously complex scavenger hunt to keep them distracted. I arrive around 5am to apply the prosthetics, takes about an hour or so and them BOOM -he’s off!Tom likes to start with the little things, you know, like go to a coffee shop, order a cup of something extra hot and then throw it at the barista, then he’ll go to the mall, bump into passers by and try to start a fight over being “king of the food court,”you know simple stuff. Then he’ll escalate more around lunch time, likeeat a whole Bald Eagle alive in front of some Boy Scouts, inflame a turf war between two opposing gangs, rear-end cars with “baby on board” decals,crash a wedding to object and steal the cake, streak through a funeral, and then if he has time and isn’t too tuckered out, he’ll start a riot at The Capitol or something. You know, the things he wishes deep down we could do but never could.

WH: And when he comes back at the end of his Purge?

Rick: Cool as a cucumber.Total Zen. Tom Hanks really is the nicest guy in Hollywood. Just please don’t let him know I told you. He’d literally kill me.

WH: Your secret is safe with us.

Rick: Us?


Rick Baker is a 7 time Academy Award winning make-up artist with such notable films as: “An American Werewolf in London,” “Coming to America” “ Ed Wood” “The Nutty Professor” and “Norbit.” He has NEVER worked with Tom Hanks in any film ever.