LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Tom Hanks attends "Elvis" UK Special Screening at BFI Southbank on May 31, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic)
TV - Movies
Why Tom Hanks
Doesn't Think
Colonel Tom
Parker Is A
Villain In Elvis
Tom Hanks has a long, storied history of playing heroes, which makes it all the more interesting that Hanks stars as the polar opposite in “Elvis,” playing Colonel Tom Parker. Hanks colors Colonel Tom Parker in shades of gray instead of playing him as a mustache-twirling villain, and he offered his viewpoint on why the character is more than just a standard bad guy.
To prepare for the role of Colonel Tom Parker, Hanks found the humanity in the character by making him more than merely a straightforward antagonist to Austin Butler's Elvis. The actor said, “The dynamic that I respond to best is not the antagonist-protagonist dynamic, it's when everyone is coming from a position where they think, This is the best thing to do."
Hanks used the Colonel's motivations when Elvis was dealing with a drug problem as an example — while some may view him as turning a blind eye to the scenario, the Colonel would view it as protecting the singer's reputation. Many of the best movie villains have motivations that make sense to them, even if they may venture into bleak or morally gray territory, and it sounds like Colonel Tom Parker remains in that field.