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Tom Hanks Has The Most Brutally Honest Take On The Da Vinci Code Trilogy

Tom Hanks has played way more than his share of memorable roles over the years: from Andrew Beckett in 1993's "Philadelphia" to Forrest Gump in 1994's "Forrest Gump" and Mister Rogers in 2019's "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" to his latest turn as Colonel Tom Parker in Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis." All told, the movies he has starred in have earned more than $9 billion worldwide, making him one of the most profitable actors in Hollywood history (via The-Numbers).

It would be more than fair to also include Robert Langdon in this list of iconic roles. Hanks famously played the well-known fictional Harvard professor in the 2006 adaptation of Dan Brown's bestselling novel "The Da Vinci Code." He reprised the role for its sequels, 2009's "Angels & Demons" and 2016's "Inferno," both also based on Brown's books. And though he didn't appear in Peacock's prequel series "The Lost Symbol" (via Variety), it is nonetheless difficult to imagine Langdon with any face other than that of Tom Hanks.

But Hanks himself has a rather candid take on his time as Robert Langdon, and the trilogy of thriller movies he helped bring to life. Of course, this isn't particularly surprising. When you've got a career spanning more than 40 years and you've brought more than eighty roles to life on the big screen, you're bound to have differing opinions on some of them. Still, when it comes to Langdon, Hanks' take seems uncharacteristically blunt.

Tom Hanks thinks the Da Vinci Code trilogy is 'hooey'

In a 2022 profile written by the New York Times, Tom Hanks spoke rather bluntly about his time as Robert Langdon. "Yeah, those Robert Langdon sequels are hooey," Hanks said. "'The Da Vinci Code' was hooey."

Hanks elaborated, citing the ways in which the trilogy played fast and loose with history and European geography so that Langdon would feasibly be able to pick up on the patterns and symbols that drive forward both the films and the books. This isn't a problem for Hanks per se, but the movies would have had to make up for it at the box office. Hanks said, "There's nothing wrong with good commerce, provided it is good commerce."

And herein lies the problem. Despite its numerous plot holes and inconsistencies, "The Da Vinci Code" was an unqualified box-office smash, earning more than $760 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). Unfortunately, its sequels were an exercise in diminishing returns. "Inferno," the trilogy's third film, was a big financial disappointment in North America (via Forbes). "By the time we made the third," Hanks said, "we proved that it wasn't such good commerce."

Still, Hanks isn't salty about his experience. "It was my 40th-something birthday," he explained when talking about working on the first film. "We were shooting in the Louvre at night. I changed my pants in front of the Mona Lisa! They brought me a birthday cake in the Grand Salon! Who gets to have that experience?" You do, Mr. Hanks. You do.