Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

“Catch Me If You Can”: Tom Hanks “invited himself” to appear in the film

Hanks came across the script “Catch me if you can”when the film was in pre-production. Leonardo DiCaprio had already been cast as Frank Abagnale Jr., a young man who carried out a series of frauds over the years, posing as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer, among others.

Because the film was produced by Walter Parkes and directed by Steven Spielberg, with whom Hanks had already worked “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers”, the actor let them know that he would love to play the role of an FBI agent chasing a counterfeiter. Creator “Schindler's List” he mentioned in a conversation with Roger Ebert that the star “Forrest Gump” asked Parkes, “Can I be in this movie? Do you think Steven will let me play an FBI agent?”

According to Spielberg, Hanks was afraid that his involvement would overshadow Leonardo DiCaprio, who, after his role in “Titanic” he was still at the peak of popularity, and at the same time he wanted to prove his acting skills. The two-time Oscar winner even called the star “The Quick and the Dead” and asked if he could play alongside him. DiCaprio was delighted with it.

Abagnale Jr.'s memoir rights were acquired by the Dreamworks studio shortly after its creation. He was originally supposed to direct the film Gore Verbinsky. However, he was forced to leave the project when work on it was postponed due to DiCaprio's commitments to the project “Gangs of New York”. His place was taken by Spielberg, the owner of Dreamworks. Soon, James Gandolfini, the first choice for the role of an FBI agent, also left the film. The actor had to return to the set for the next season “The Sopranos”.

“Catch Me If You Can” was released in theaters in December 2002. The film received very good reviews and two Oscar nominations – for original music and supporting role Christopher Walkenwho played the main character's father.