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The Surprising Sci-Fi Series Tom Hanks Regrets Passing On

Tom Hanks is the everyman actor that elevates just about any film he puts his name to, and with his filmography, that really is a lot of movies. Initially starting on the big screen as a comedy actor with films like "Splash," "Joe vs. the Volcano," and "The Money Pit," his gradual transition over to more dramatic films after his Oscar-nominated role in "Big" led him to become a household name, and one of the most revered actors in the industry.

Given his massive success, it makes sense why a stack of roles have come and gone across his desk over the years, from major gigs to minor cameos. Of course, when it comes to the latter, there are some blink-or-you'll-miss-them parts that Hanks clearly played for laughs, like his appearances in both "The Simpsons Movie" and "Borat 2." There was one particular appearance he never made, though. It's one that is a bit more serious and that would have resulted in a childhood dream being fulfilled.

Tom Hanks wanted to be on Star Trek

As he has shared on late-night shows such as "The Graham Norton Show," Tom Hanks is a huge fan of the beloved sci-fi franchise "Star Trek." And, as one revered Starfleet captain once revealed, the actor dreamed of appearing on the show but never had time to get beamed up.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in 1994, Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard himself, aka Patrick Stewart, revealed that Hanks had longed to board the Enterprise, but scheduling conflicts got in the way. "I ran into Tom the other day and he told me he doesn't just watch every show, he stays to read all of the credits," said Stewart at the time. "Tom knows the name of every Trek character, past, present, and I think future. His one regret is that he wanted to be in Generations or on a Next Generation episode, but he didn't have time."

It's a shame that the guest appearance never came to pass, but perhaps Hanks rocking up on the holodeck or chatting with the Captain and crew may have been far too jarring. There have been plenty of cameos in "Star Trek" over the years, but Tom Hanks may have been an out-of-this-world option that should stay there.