Patrick, who starred in the Academy Award®-nominated film Little Children, says Tom had a profound effect on his career. In 1995, Patrick says he and a friend went to see a stage production of Hamlet. Just as the lights started to go down, Patrick saw Tom walk in! At intermission, he worked up the nerve to say hello.
"I just sort of [stuck out] my hand out and said, 'Excuse me, Mr. Hanks.' And the only thing I could think of to say was, 'My mom said she wanted me to be just like you because you seem like a really nice guy.'"
Patrick says Tom was gracious and kind, and offered a single word of advice, "persevere." "It just gave us a strength. And when you're an actor, that's all you want is confidence and strength," Patrick says.
Besides being generous to fans—and fellow actors—Oprah says Tom is also the guy you want to sit next to at a party. "He is a guy's guy," she says, "but he also can tell a story like a girl."