Beloved actor Tom Hanks laughed as he delivered Harvard University’s commencement speech on Thursday, days after a bizarre episode on a Cannes red carpet in which he gave a laconic glare at a construction worker. festival.
Hanks, who received an honorary doctorate of arts from the institution, urged the graduate to be staunch defenders of truth and American ideals, and to avoid indifference and those who manipulate the truth for their own gain. .
“Truth for some is no longer empirical. It’s not based on data anymore, or common sense, or even common decency,” the Oscar-winning double said, adding a riff on Harvard’s motto “Veritas,” which is the Latin word for truth.
“Telling the truth is no longer the benchmark for public service. It is no longer the balm for our fears or the guide to our actions. The truth is now seen as malleable, by opinion and by zero-sum finals,” he continued.
The mood was much lighter on Thursday than days earlier when an angry Hanks argued with a staff member, pointing and looking stern on the red carpet.
Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson speak with a member of staff as they arrive for the screening of the film ‘Asteroid City’ during the 76th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes
Hanks was in a much better mood Thursday when he addressed Harvard University graduates and told them to resist indifference.
Hanks told the more than 9,000 graduates they had a choice to make: “It’s the same option for all adults who must decide to be one of three types of Americans: those who embrace freedom and freedom for all; those who will not; or those who are indifferent.
“Only the former do the work of creating a more perfect union, an indivisible nation. The others get in the way.
Ahead of Hanks’ speech, outgoing Harvard President Lawrence Bacow introduced the famous actor as “Wilson’s best friend, Buzz’s pal, Ryan’s savior, America’s father,” before introducing him a Harvard volleyball, in reference to his film “Cast Away”.
Hanks briefly scoffed at getting a shiny new degree from one of the world’s top universities, given the lack of college degrees.
“It’s not fair, but please don’t be embittered by this fact. Now, without having done any work, without having spent any time in class, without having once entered this library – in order to have anything to do with Harvard’s promotion, its faculty, or its distinguished alumni – I make a damn good living playing someone who’s done it”, referring to his portrayal of Robert Langdon , a fictional Harvard professor in the films based on Dan Brown’s novels.
“It’s the way of the world, children,” he said.
Hanks hugged some of the graduates at the school’s 372nd start on Thursday
Hanks makes a nasty face on the Cannes red carpet at the premiere of Wes Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’
Hanks’ Ivy League triumph comes days after a viral moment on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet, during which he appeared to scold a young man working at the festival.
The actor, 66, looked unusually frustrated as he pointed a finger at the man as he attended the event alongside his wife Rita Wilson, also 66.
The couple was on the red carpet for the premiere of Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, a film in which they both star.
Actress and producer Rita could be seen holding her hand in front of her during the interaction.
The unknown man could be seen talking to the couple in what appeared to be an attempt to calm the situation.
However, Tom appeared to remain miffed as the trio spoke before walking down the red carpet to pose for photos at the event. It has still not been revealed what it was.
Obviously, this was something Hanks was not indifferent to.