When we talk about Hollywood veterans and American cultural icons, Tom Hanks is right in the middle of it. Hanks is a family man and a two-time Academy Award winner.
He also has his hands in several famous hobbies and non-profit work. He is known for his comedic and dramatic roles in dozens of movies and has scores of TV credits to his name.
Hanks recently had the opportunity to add ‘astronaut’ to his already long list of achievements but turned it down. This opportunity came from billionaire Jeff Bezos,’ which gave Hanks a seat on his spacecraft for a mind-blowing fee.
Hanks Was Offered A Seat Before William Shatner
Hanks guest-starred on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” earlier this week to promote “Finch,” his new sci-fi movie. While on the show, the actor and Kimmel chatted about different things concerning the movie ranging from his experience working with a dog to his interest in manual typewriters.
Kimmel also asked the 65-year-old actor if the rumor that the former Amazon CEO offered him a ticket to fly aboard one of his space crafts was true?
Kimmel claimed he heard that this offer was given to Hanks earlier than actor William Shatner, the “Star Trek” legend. Hanks affirmed it when he said, “Well, yeah, provided I pay.”
Kimmel did not expect this response and could hardly stop himself from releasing a bewildered “Really?!” This is because if Hanks had agreed to it, his superstar status and fame would give Bezos’ Blue Origin space crafts massive publicity, so the idea of paying so much money sounded absurd.
Hanks Reveals Why He Won’t Pay To Go To Space
When Kimmel brought the topic up, it was obvious Hanks had some things to get off his chest about the entire situation, so he spoke about it at length and even disclosed the amount he was asked to pay.
“…And, you know, it cost 28 million bucks or something like that. And I’m doing good, Jimmy, I’m doing good. But I ain’t paying 28 million bucks to go to space.” Hanks retorted.
“You know, we could simulate the experience of going to space right now. It’s about a 12-minute flight — is that about it? We could all do it in our seats right here,” Hanks said then he started mimicking how the in-flight experience could have been. He added, “I don’t need to spend 28 million bucks to do that. I can do that at home.”
Space travel or the idea of it is not strange to Hanks. He starred in a 1995 film titled “Apollo 13,” which followed a disastrous space mission that nearly claimed the lives of the spaceship crew members. A lot of the scenes were shot in an anti-gravity jet, which can be likened to space.
Hanks Would Have Gone If It Was Free
After Hanks’ couch spaceship demonstration, Kimmel asked what his response would have been, if the space trip was free? Hanks wasted no time in his response and said, “I would do it on occasion just to experience the joy — pretending I’m a billionaire.”
Although Hanks declined the offer, he is believed to be on the list of celebrities that reserved tickets worth at least $250,000, to be among the first group of space tourists aboard the Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s commercial space liner.
Around 600 people from 58 countries have allegedly reserved tickets. Business Insider reported early this year that other celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Brand, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Russell Brand, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry have also bought these tickets.
William Shatner Is Now The Oldest Space Traveler
Courtesy of Bezos, last month, Shatner became the oldest person to have ever been to space, at 90. After his 11-minute flight on Wednesday, Shatner became emotional on camera and said, “I hope I never recover from this.”
He embarked on this trip with three other passengers, Audrey Powers; Blue Origin’s Vice President of mission and flights operation, Chris Boshuizen; a former NASA engineer, and Glen de Vries, a healthcare entrepreneur. These three experienced some minutes of weightlessness and saw the earth’s curvature before they came back down.
After landing in the Texas desert, Shatner shared an emotional reaction with Bezos.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience. I am so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary,” Shatner said, tearing up. “I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.