While filming was taking place back in the mid 90s, I remember talking to folks about this "Forrest Gump" movie and wondered who would go to see a movie with such a strange name. We now know...ALOT. It went on to become one of the biggest hits of the decade.
One of my favorite stories was that one day on his way to film on Fripp Island (where the war scenes were shot) Hanks saw a wedding party outside a church. He had his driver pull over, ran up and kissed the bride, congratulated the couple, got back in the car and left. I have no idea who that couple was and where they are now, but just imagine the stories they could tell....
On April 22nd, 2011 the "Lt Dan Band" played a concert in Forsyth Park in Savannah. Forrest Gump spends a lot of time in Savannah, entertaining tourist on some of the local tours. When Forrest found out that "Lt Dan" was going to be in Savannah, he had to go see for himself. So we set out on the adventure to find Lieutenant Dan. Gary Sinise (who looks just like Lieutenant Dan) was quite surprised when Julie Dutchak called Forrest to come up to the Stage. Julie and Mari Anne sang 'You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman' to Forrest.
While many scenes including the famous "life is like a box of chocolates" scene were filmed in Savannah, the scenes with Hanks and Sinise on their shrimp boat were filmed in and around Port Royal SC
Here is Tom Hanks talking about becoming the character and the making of the movie:
FORREST GUMP TRIVIAL FACTS: HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY, FOREST GUMP!
25 years ago Saturday (July 6) Forest Gump opened in theaters nationwide.
• Bill Murray, John Travolta and Chevy Chase turned down the role of Forrest Gump.
• David Alan Grier, Ice Cube and Dave Chappelle turned down the role of Bubba.
• Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman turned down the role of Jenny Curran.
• Gump’s Medal of Honor ceremony uses the footage of the actual ceremony for Sammy L. Davis, who was awarded the Medal of Honor on November 19, 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson for his actions in Vietnam a year earlier. Tom Hanks’ head was superimposed on Davis’ body.
• During the ping-pong matches, there was no ball; it was entirely CGI, animated to meet the actors’ paddles.
• When Forrest first learns to play ping-pong in the infirmary, he is told the trick is to “keep his eye on the ball” by another soldier. After that moment, whenever he is shown playing ping-pong, he never blinks.
• Tom Hanks signed onto the film after an hour and a half of reading the script.
• The line “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump” was ad libbed by Tom Hanks while filming the scene; director Robert Zemeckis liked it so much that he decided to keep it in.
• Greenbow, Alabama (Forrest’s hometown) is fictional. Bayou LaBatre, Alabama (Bubba’s hometown) is real.