Tom Hanks was leading the romantic comedy genre in the 90s with Meg Ryan, but his wife, Rita Wilson, revealed that he actually turned down starring in another classic.

During a recent episode of the Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi podcast, the actress-producer said Hanks was asked to star in 1989’s When Harry Met Sally…, but declined the role.

“People probably don’t know this, but Tom was offered When Harry Met Sally…, and he turned it down because he was going through a divorce and he was very happy to be not married,” Wilson said. “And so he could not understand that a person going through a divorce would have anything other than just like, ‘I’m so happy.’”

The Forrest Gump actor later went on to star opposite Ryan in 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle and 1998’s You’ve Got Mail. And Billy Crystal ended up landing the role of Harry Burns in the film directed by Rob Reiner and written by Nora Ephron.

Before When Harry Met Sally… was released, Hanks and Samantha Lewes had gotten a divorce in 1987. The actor then tied the knot with Wilson in 1988.

During her podcast appearance, Wilson also opened up about how she got the role of Suzy in Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle. After Hanks accepted the part, the actress said she “loved that script so much” when reading it.

Wilson also noted that she loved the way Ephron wrote for Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally… and This Is My Life. Then, when she ended up running into Ephron at a party, she asked the filmmaker if she could audition for the role of the best friend (Becky) if she wasn’t going to cast Fisher.

The actress said she went in for an audition, but “didn’t get the part. They gave it to Rosie [O’Donnell]. But Nora offered me the role of Suzy, this other character. And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that was a really good part of the script. I really like that character. There was a big monologue in there.’”

Wilson added that the role ended up being “one of the most fun, most wonderful acting experiences I’ve ever had.”


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