Tom Hanks meets Wilson's Ivy League brother while giving Harvard graduation speech
At long last, Wilson has made his way back to Tom Hanks... sort of.
The two-time Oscar winner was on hand at Harvard University's graduation ceremony on Thursday to give the keynote address. There, Harvard President Lawrence Bacow presented Hanks with a Harvard volleyball, in tribute to his role in Cast Away, where his character befriended an old volleyball while marooned on an island.
In one of the most surprisingly devastating moments in the film, Hanks' character loses the volleyball, which he had taken to calling Wilson, during a storm. Pictures from the graduation event Thursday showed Hanks contemplating Wilson's new Ivy League updates.
Per the Associated Press, Hanks used his remarks on stage to encourage the graduates to defend the truth and American ideals.
"For the truth to some is no longer empirical. It's no longer based on data, nor common sense, nor even common decency... Telling the truth is no longer the benchmark for public service," he said. "It's no longer the salve to our fears, or the guide to our actions. Truth is now considered malleable, by opinion and by zero sum endgames."
CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Tom Hanks gives Harvard graduation speech
He continued, "It's the same option for all grownups who have to decide to be one of three types of Americans: Those who embrace liberty and freedom for all; those who won't; or those who are indifferent. Only the first do the work of creating a more perfect union, a nation indivisible. The others get in the way."
The actor added that the responsibility lies with everyone, though the "effort is optional." "But the truth, the truth is sacred. Unalterable. Chiseled into the stone and the foundation of our republic," he concluded.
Hanks — who was also awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts at the event — poked fun at his own academic record and made a fun reference to another one of his roles, fictional Harvard professor Robert Langdon (as seen in The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Inferno).
"It's not fair, but please don't be embittered by this fact," Hanks said. "Now, without having done a lick of work, without having spent any time in class, without once walking into that library — in order to have anything to do with the graduating class of Harvard, its faculty, or its distinguished alumni — I make a damn good living playing someone who did... It's the way of the world, kids."
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