See the Cast of ‘Forrest Gump’ Then and Now
Released in 1994, ‘Forrest Gump’ swept the Oscars that year, taking home six statues, including Best Picture, Director and Actor. The film starred Tom Hanks as the titular protagonist, a man with a low IQ who unwittingly finds himself passing through and influencing notable moments in history, including the Vietnam War, Watergate and meeting Elvis. Nineteen years later, we revisit Hanks and the rest of the cast of this charming classic and see what they’re up to now.
Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump
Then: Tom Hanks played the role of lead protagonist Forrest Gump, a man who recounts his life to strangers at a bus stop. John Travolta, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase all turned down the role, which Travolta later admitted was a huge mistake.
Now: Hanks reunited with ‘Forrest Gump’ director Robert Zemeckis for the films ‘Cast Away’ and ‘The Polar Express.’ He recently starred in the true life dramatic thriller ‘Captain Phillips,’ and appears next as Walt Disney in ‘Saving Mr. Banks.’ He’ll also reprise his role as Robert Langdon in the ‘Da Vinci Code’-led films for the third time in ‘Inferno.’
Robin Wright, Jenny Curran
Then: Robin Wright portrayed Jenny Curran, Forrest’s childhood friend whose path keeps crossing with his throughout the film. Wright previously appeared in the films ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘Toys.’
Now: Wright also starred in the Zemeckis films ‘Beowulf’ and ‘A Christmas Carol,’ and recently appeared in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘Moneyball.’ She can be seen next in Ari Folman’s trippy, partially animated film, ‘The Congress.’
Sally Field, Mrs. Gump
Then: ‘The Flying Nun’ and ‘Steel Magnolias’ star Sally Field played Mrs. Gump, Forrest’s mother who loves him unconditionally and does everything in her power to raise him right. Although she played his mother, Field is only 10 years older than Hanks.
Now: Field starred on the TV series ‘Brothers and Sisters’ and took a break from film acting for a few years. She returned in 2012 for the films ‘Lincoln’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’ She’ll reprise the role of Aunt May for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2.’
Gary Sinise, Lieutenant Dan Taylor
Then: Gary Sinise played Lieutenant Dan Taylor, Forrest’s commander when he heads off to Vietnam. Dan famously loses his legs in battle, and although resistant to Forrest’s optimism, eventually comes around.
Now: Sinise reunited with Tom Hanks for ‘Apollo 13,’ and stars as Detective Mac Taylor on the long-running ‘CSI’ spinoff series ‘CSI: NY.’ Sinise didn’t stray too far from the topic of war, and has narrated several war documentaries.
Mykelti Williamson, Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue
Then: Mykelti Williamson starred as Bubba, the friend Forrest meets in the army. After the war, Bubba intends to return home and start a shrimping business. David Alan Grier, Ice Cube and Dave Chappelle were all offered the role of Bubba and turned it down.
Now: Williamson has appeared in the films ‘Heat,’ ‘Con Air’ and ‘Three Kings.’ He reunited with ‘Forrest Gump’ co-star Gary Sinise in a few episodes of ‘CSI: NY,’ and has a recurring role on ‘Justified.’
Haley Joel Osment, Forrest Gump Jr.
Then: Haley Joel Osment made his acting debut as Forrest Junior, Forrest and Jenny’s son.
Now: Haley Joel Osment became a notable child actor, starring on ‘The Jeff Foxworthy Show’ and in the films ‘The Sixth Sense,’ ‘Pay It Forward’ and ‘A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.’ He took a break from acting for a few years, and voices the character Sora in the Kingdom Hearts video games. Osment recently returned to acting, and appears in Will Ferrell’s upcoming IFC miniseries ‘The Spoils of Babylon.’
Hanna Hall, Young Jenny Curran
Then: Hanna Hall also made her acting debut in ‘Forrest Gump’ as the young version of Jenny Curran.
Now: Hall went on to star in ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween.’ She most recently guest starred on an episode of ‘Criminal Minds.’