Why did young ‘Forrest Gump’ go incognito in Hollywood's forest of fame? | Hollywood - Hindustan Times
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Why did child star who played young ‘Forrest Gump’ go incognito in Hollywood's forest of fame?

ByPaurush Omar
Jul 05, 2023 04:00 PM IST

Michael Conner Humphreys, now 38 years old, portrayed the young version of Tom Hanks' endearing character in the 1994 classic 'Forrest Gump'

Life has a way of surprising us, just like the iconic line from "Forrest Gump" reminds us. And for one former child star who stole hearts in the beloved family film, his recent appearance has left fans in awe, as he looks completely unrecognizable after years of staying out of the spotlight.

Child star Michael Conner Humphreys who played the young Forrest in the movie 'Forrest Gump'.
Child star Michael Conner Humphreys who played the young Forrest in the movie 'Forrest Gump'.

Michael Conner Humphreys, now 38 years old, portrayed the young version of Tom Hanks' endearing character in the 1994 classic "Forrest Gump." At the tender age of 8, he was discovered through an open casting call to bring Forrest's childhood to life on the big screen.

However, almost three decades since his role in the groundbreaking film, Humphreys chose to take a different path, realizing that the glitz and glamour of Hollywood weren't for him. Instead, he focused on completing his education, eventually enlisting in the US Army and serving as an infantry soldier for four years, including a challenging tour of duty in Iraq. His military service concluded in 2008.

Michael Conner Humphreys who played young Forrest in the movie 'Forrest Gump' is now 38.
Michael Conner Humphreys who played young Forrest in the movie 'Forrest Gump' is now 38.

Reflecting on his decision, Humphreys shared that his parents never pushed him to pursue acting further, believing that the Hollywood lifestyle was not suitable for children. They preferred to maintain their roots in Oregon rather than uprooting to the fast-paced environment of Los Angeles.

"My parents allowed me to make my own choices, and they never pressured me to pursue more acting opportunities," he revealed. "I was more interested in having fun and playing with my friends. School was important to me, so I wasn't actively seeking more roles."

Despite the enormous success of "Forrest Gump," Humphreys valued leading a relatively normal childhood. He never saw Hollywood as glamorous and fame was never his ambition.

Interestingly, while Humphreys distanced himself from the movie industry, he couldn't escape some uncanny resemblances to his famous character. Like Forrest Gump, he developed a passion for running and even participated in marathons. Additionally, he discovered unexpected connections, such as serving on the same army base in Germany as the legendary Elvis Presley.

"Coincidences like these, mirroring Forrest's life, have been amusingly frequent in mine," Humphreys shared. "Perhaps it's destiny or some mysterious force orchestrating these connections."

Although his focus shifted away from acting, Humphreys, who graduated with a degree in international relations, expressed openness to returning to the screen if the right role presented itself. He humorously mentioned the resemblance some see between him and actor Tom Hiddleston, who has been linked to the role of James Bond.

"I'm game for most things," he added with a smile.

Also read | Why did Tom Hanks turn down lead role in ‘When Harry Met Sally’?

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