Gary Sinise Opens Up About How ‘Forrest Gump’ Role Changed His Life

Gary Sinise is a Hollywood star but there has always been one role that has been close to his heart. He appeared in Forrest Gump as Lt. Dan alongside the iconic Tom Hanks. When Gary auditioned for the role, he was actually auditioning for a bunch of other roles.

Gary was asked if he believed it was fate that he ended up getting a role in Forrest Gump. He responded, “Well, it was certainly good fortune. The movie did so well. Maybe it was some kind of destiny. I never realized it at the time that the role would play a greater part in my life than just being in a movie and having it be another part that I played in a movie.”

He continued, “Years later, when I started walking into hospitals to visit our wounded, they didn’t know who I was. But, they recognized my face from Forrest Gump and they wanted to talk about Lt. Dan. I realized early on, that’s going to be part of the story that I share with these wounded veterans.”

Gary said that the role inspired him to help veterans and became his life’s mission. He has been involved in supporting American veterans and wounded warriors for decades now. 12 years ago, he started the Gary Sinise Foundation which helps veterans and active duty service members and their families.

Gary added about the role in Forrest Gump, “It certainly played a great significant part in my career… I hadn’t done that many movies before that. But, a much greater role in my life as a wounded veteran and connecting me to the military and the Viet Nam veteran community and the wounded that we have. We have so many real-life Lt. Dans now. If I can share something positive from the movie with them and it helps them, I’m all too eager to do that.”

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