Single-actor films are always a big gamble in Hollywood. So much of the their success rides on the performance of one person and how the audience responds. Luckily for Robert Zemeckis, he was able to have Hanks (in yet another Oscar-nominated turn) lead the survival-thriller Cast Away.
In lesser hands, this film could have been a disaster, but Hanks was up for the challenge. Using his natural everyman qualities and likability, he was able to give viewers a character who was easy to root for as well as pose some serious “what would you do?” questions. Despite acting against a volleyball for most of the running time, Hanks' performance is so strong that some critics wish more of the drama took place on the desert island.
Even though the film features an unbearable terrifying real-life scenario, Hanks made the ride both enjoyable and captivating.