When you think of the Oscar winning classic Forrest Gump it’s difficult not to picture Tom Hanks, but many forget that another actor played Forrest first…
Michael Conner Humphreys played the young Forrest Gump in the film and it’s his performance of Forrest’s formative years that makes the audience fall in love with the bumbling but well meaning character.
After all, it is him on screen when we first hear the iconic words, ‘Run, Forrest. Run!’ Humphreys was just eight years old when he filmed Forrest Gump, and the film had an influence on his life that no one could have predicted.
During the filming of the film’s Vietnam war scenes Humphreys was lucky enough to meet members of the Marine Corp, who provided the helicopters.
Getting to meet such brave men made a huge impression on the young man, and rather than continue acting, he went on to join the US Army in 2004 doing an 18 month tour of duty in Iraq. Unsurprisingly, his nickname while on tour was ‘Gump’.
Michael Conner Humphreys, child actor did do something that mattered. He served four years in the U.S. Army pic.twitter.com/j0ITPUXveU
— Growler (@gotyour6ferg) February 26, 2015
In an interview with Mail Online, he said it was this visit that ‘directly motivated’ him to join the military.
— Melanie Hastings (@MelanieNews8) May 19, 2015
Humphrey’s wasn’t done following in his character’s foot steps though, in 2014 he took part in a ten kilometre charity run and, apparently onlookers cheered him on, chanting, ‘Run, Forrest. Run.’
Not done with being amazing though, he left the army in 2008 to study ‘International Relations’ at the University of North Alabama and in 2011 returned to acting with a role in the small film Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers.