Gary Sinise Looks Back on His Time as Lt. Dan as ‘Forrest Gump’ Hits 30

Forrest Gump (The Tisch Company)

As the iconic film “Forrest Gump” celebrates its 30th anniversary, Gary Sinise reflects on the profound impact his role as Lt. Dan Taylor has had on his life.

The movie, which won the Best Picture Oscar, tells the story of a simple man who finds himself in the midst of historical events and life-changing moments, thanks to the people he encounters.

Gary Sinise of ‘Forrest Gump’ (The Tisch Company)

Sinise’s portrayal of Lt. Dan, a Vietnam War veteran who struggles with depression and anger after being saved by Forrest, has resonated with audiences for decades.

Sinise, who was relatively new to screen acting at the time, credits Tom Hanks for encouraging him during filming and praises the opportunity to play a character who has had a lasting impact on his life.

He recalls Hanks’ praise for his performance, saying, “He said something like, ‘Gosh, I just saw your stuff and it’s like Clark Gable walked on the stage.'” Sinise looks back on playing Lt. Dan with gratitude and fondness, acknowledging that the role could have gone to anyone but feels fortunate to have been cast.

The experience has also shaped his work beyond the film, particularly in his efforts to support military veterans through the Gary Sinise Foundation. Sinise humbly notes that Lt. Dan has become an integral part of his legacy, both on screen and off.

As he looks back on the film’s 30th anniversary, Sinise is reminded of the power of storytelling and the impact that characters like Lt. Dan can have on audiences and the actors who bring them to life.