Colin Hanks and Schuyler Fisk may not have many film credentials. But as far as lineage goes, these stars from the new comedy Orange County have more than a slight advantage. As the son of Tom Hanks and the daughter of Sissy Spacek, the two young actors each carry their Oscar-winning parents as a Hollywood calling card.
Of course, neither one sees it quite that way. During a recent Hatchet interview they declared independence from their all-too-famous parental units but also acknowledged a few unavoidable connections in the filming of Orange County.
Fisk admitted that some eerie similarities appeared in Colin Hanks’ performance. Fisk said that while Colin Hanks is “very much his own person” she occasionally saw a few of Tom Hanks’ mannerisms.
“There were some points during filming, like when we would have him yell something, and it was like, ‘Wait, who are you?'” Fisk said.
In Orange County young Hanks plays a high school student named Shaun – a bright kid obsessed with the idea of getting into Stanford University. After years of tailoring his life toward this goal, Shaun is rejected because of a mistake with his transcript. Undeterred by this unfortunate twist of fate, Shaun sets off with his brother Lance (Jack Black) to argue his way into the university.
Fisk plays Shaun’s girlfriend Ashley. Fisk said she was surprised by the amount of attention her famous parentage had received. She said that the two had not discussed their families’ similarities while on the set.
“It’s never something we’d talk about at all until we started getting interviewed,” Fisk said.
Fisk said she was largely unexposed to Hollywood throughout her childhood. She grew up with her parents, Spacek and production designer Jack Fisk, on their horse farm in northern Virginia and moved to Los Angeles two years ago. Fisk prefers the dichotomy of her working and personal life.
“We’re very not in the Hollywood scene,” Fisk said. “I’ve really had a very normal life. I have something to go back to.”
Hanks, in his mid-20s, makes his first appearance in a lead role in Orange County. In the past, he has appeared in the television show Roswell and in HBO’s Band of Brothers. With a father who has twice won Oscars for Best Actor and was noted by Entertainment Weekly to be the only actor worth his standard $20 million a movie salary, Hanks knows the downside to having a famous parent.
“It can be kind of frustrating because oftentimes that’s the only thing that people are really interested in,” Hanks said. “You meet a lot of people in this business and sometimes they could really care less about you, they just want to know, ‘So does your dad crack jokes at the dinner table?'”
Hanks’ greatest gripe with the association to his father is the suggestion that he is merely following in his footsteps. He said he came into film on his own volition and not for the sake of tradition.
“This is what I want to do with my life; this is how I want to make my living,” Hanks said.
Affable and unassuming, Hanks has no expectations of rising to the level of success his father enjoys and chooses to set his own, more humble, goals.
“I just want to do stuff that I’m proud of, that I would want my friends to see and that I would feel comfortable asking millions of complete strangers to see,” he said.