Rita Wilson Reveals Why Tom Hanks Turned Down When Harry Met Sally

Rita Wilson Reveals Why Tom Hanks Turned Down When Harry Met Sally

Tom Hanks was spearheading the rom-com genre in the ’90s with Meg Ryan, but his wife, Rita Wilson, has revealed that he actually turned it down to star in another classic.

During a recent episode of Table for two with Bruce Bozzi podcaststhe actress-producer said Hanks was asked to star in 1989’s When Harry met Sally…but he turned down the role.

“People probably don’t know this, but Tom was offered When Harry met Sally…and he refused because he was going through a divorce and was very happy that he wasn’t married,” Wilson said. “And so he couldn’t understand that a person going through a divorce would have anything other than ‘I’m so happy.’”

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THE Forrest Gump the actor later starred opposite Ryan in 1993 Sleepless in Seattle and 1998 You’ve got mail. And Billy Crystal ended up getting 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 divorced in 1987. The actor later married Wilson in 1988.

During her appearance on the podcast, Wilson also explained how she landed the role of Suzy on Ephron Sleepless in Seattle. After Hanks accepted her part, the actress said she “loved that script so much” while reading it.

Wilson also noted that he loved the way Ephron wrote for Carrie Fisher When Harry met Sally… AND This is my life. Then, when she ended up running into Ephron at a party, she asked the director if she could audition for the role of her best friend (Becky) if he hadn’t cast Fisher.

The actress said she went to audition, but “didn’t get the part. She was given 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 great monologue in there.’”

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