The untold truth of Tom Hanks’ son Chet Hanks02/28/2020
Tom Hanks is a multi-Oscar-winning actor who’s appeared in some of the most notable films of his time. While he’s known as the nicest guy in Hollywood, Hanks’ wife, actress Rita Wilson, is a star in her own right. The Forrest Gump actor’s two adult kids from a previous marriage, Colin Hanks and Elizabeth Hanks, are also in the acting business, and Tom and Rita’s youngest, Truman Hanks, seems to prefer working behind the scenes as a production assistant. And then there’s Chester Marlon Hanks. The third Hanks offspring happens to go by Chet Hanks or Chet Haze (but we’ll get into that more below) — and is definitely not like the rest of his family.
In 2011, Chet told the Chicago Tribune, “Because of who my father is, people have always had their preconceived notions about me. In other words, people always are going to have their minds made up.” True or not, the son of two famous stars has taken a very different Tinseltown path than the ones followed by his parents and siblings. The same can be said when it comes to his personal life and the (sometimes scandalous) choices that he makes.
Although Chet Hanks was born and raised among showbiz elite, he’s not what you’d expect when you think of the son of the man who played Mr. Rogers. Frankly, you’ll likely be surprised to find out the untold truth about Tom Hanks’ son.
You may have seen Tom Hanks' son Chet Hanks on TV
Considering Chet Hanks comes from a family of actors, it makes sense that he’s tried to make it in Hollywood. However, he doesn’t necessarily think he owes his opportunities to these connections, telling TooFab, “Everything I’ve got I had to earn myself, I had to go and audition for every role I got, just like anybody else. It’s not like I’m just gonna make a phone call and — boom — you’re in it. That’s not how it works.” That may be true, but Hanks did reveal to People that his famous dad gave him some very Tom Hanks advice when it comes to being successful: “Show up on time, know your lines, and be nice to everybody.”
Popping up in bit parts over the years, including a role in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as “Student in Library,” Chet Hanks was later spotted in 2015’s Fantastic Four remake and appeared in two episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2017. However, Hanks managed to take his credits up a notch when he landed the role of Charlie on Shameless from 2016 to 2018, where he played the father of Sierra Morton’s son. Fans of Empire may also recognize him as Blake Sterling, a rapper and hip hop artist who was with the show from 2018 to 2019 — a role that Hanks was prepared for thanks to his other creative pursuit.
Chet Hanks (a.k.a. Chet Haze) is also a rapper
Chet Hanks doesn’t just play a rapper on TV, he’s also one in real life. Yes, Tom Hanks’ son is a hip hop artist. Years ago, a young Chester Marlon Hanks rebranded himself as Chet Haze.
If you’re not familiar with Hanks’ — or rather, Haze’s — music, take a listen to his song, “White and Purple.” Wiz Khalifa fans will recognize the tune as a remake of “Black and Yellow,” which the lesser-known rapper renamed “in reference to Northwestern University’s colors,” where he went to school (via The Cut). Apparently, Haze’s former classmates remember him, with one person telling the world in a now-deleted tweet about what he was supposedly like during their school days. First calling Hanks a “rapper” (note the punctuation), they also recalled that “all the tacky lil theatre kids would cast him in their student plays hoping tom would come watch.” So… not a fan of Haze’s music?
While Haze seems to get less-than-stellar support from his fellow alumni, he’s not letting that hinder his attempts at a music career. That’s perhaps why he’s also a part of a duo called Something Out West, which sounds like a mix of country and rap, as well as FTRZ with Drew Arthur, which also sees the rapper throw in some lines while the other dude sings. We’ll just have to wait and see if this helps Haze sweep the BET Hip Hop Awards.
Tom Hanks' son is a millionaire, but he's not as rich as his family
Chet Hanks may not be the most successful figure when it comes to both acting and rapping, but that doesn’t mean that he’s strapped for cash. Whether he was gifted with a decent trust fund from his wealthy parents (very likely, to be honest) or has managed to strike up significant deals for himself (it’s possible, we suppose), Hanks has around $3 million to his name, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
While that’s not bad at all, it’s not quite as impressive as the kind of cash that his relatives are banking. Chet’s brother, actor Colin Hanks, has five times as much as his younger sibling, with a sizable net worth of around $15 million. However, neither of the younger Hankses can come close to matching the formidable fortunes that their parents have earned over the years.
Thanks to her work on screen as well as savvy real estate purchases (and accompanying sales), Rita Wilson is worth a whopping $100 million. Of course, as you might expect, Tom Hanks is the one with the most money in the family, with a jaw-dropping $400 million. Basically, Rita and Tom have made enough to take care of their family for generations, meaning the kids could never work another day in their life if they were so inclined. That is, if they end up inheriting their parents’ millions.
Chet Hanks has A LOT of tattoos
It’s a good thing that Chet Hanks has a lot of money because he likes to spend plenty of cash on tattoos. The actor and rapper often posts shirtless photos of himself on Instagram that clearly show off his collection of body art.
Check out Hanks’ assortment of ink and you’ll see pieces that include his daughter’s name in a heart that sits on one side of his chest, while snakes and a dagger decorate the other side, along with star-like bursts and saintly scenes that create half-sleeves on both of his upper arms, along with the words “Audentes Fortuna Juvat” (“Fortune Favors the Bold”) on the right side. He also has a somewhat-hard-to-see figure on his ribs, script below his neck, leaves around either side of his collar bone, and a massive cross on his back. In December 2019, he added what appears to be an Eye of Providence with clouds and sun rays, which were done by Los Angeles artist Frank Ball Jr.
While Hanks doesn’t get his love of tattoos from his mother, Rita Wilson, who admitted on The Late Late Show with James Coreden that she doesn’t have any ink, she did reveal that she managed to get photos of all of Chet’s tattoos and then had a makeup artist recreate them on the rest of the family for his 22nd birthday. If only we could have seen Tom Hanks covered in tattoos!
Tom Hanks' son Chet Hanks is a motorcycle man
When Chet Hanks isn’t busy acting, rapping, or getting tattoos, he’s likely somewhere off riding on a motorcycle. If you scroll through the crotch-rocket enthusiast’s Instagram feed, you’ll see plenty of photos of himself with various vehicles, although he’s usually spotted with his classic black Harley Davidson bike. Yes, that’s him popping up his front wheel while taking a “Lil Sunday sail” through the streets and riding around the roads at night.
In December 2019, Hanks also shared a shot of himself clearly admiring someone else’s ride and summed up how he feels about motorcycles when he charmingly admitted, “Only 2 things can get this reaction out of me… bikes and a**.” That’s certainly one way to put it. While the motorcycles Hanks rips around on tend to be impressive beasts, his social media followers definitely appreciated getting a glimpse of him “tear[ing] up these streets” on a mini dirt bike that was barely big enough for him to fit on in early 2020. Frankly, the most impressive part of that ride was simply Hanks’ ability to stay on it.
Chet Hanks has struggled with drug abuse
Tom Hanks’ son may have come from a privileged background, but Chet Hanks has still faced — and overcome — a serious issue that could have taken his life. In 2014, he revealed that he’d struggled with substance use since he was 16, and in 2015, his behavior got him into trouble with the law after he “trash[ed] a hotel room,” according to The Cut. That prompted the celeb to enter rehab to get a handle on his addiction. Hanks later addressed the situation in a since-deleted Instagram post (via the Los Angeles Times), saying, “I was selling coke, doing coke until I couldn’t even snort it up my nose anymore because it was so clogged. I even smoked crack.” As dire as that sounds, he also offered hope, adding, “If I can change, you can change. There is a solution.”
Noting that the man he had become was not who he wanted to be, Hanks continued, “It’s been a long journey for me discovering who I am because of all the pressures that I’ve dealt with in my life, you know, being the son of my dad and everything, and just trying to find where I fit in.”
As for Chet’s father, Tom Hanks also opened up about his son’s drug use and recovery, telling Entertainment Tonight, “As a parent, you love your kids unconditionally and you support them in every step of the way and you gotta applaud bravery and honesty when it comes … out of your own house.”
Tom Hanks' son is using his past to help others find a better future
Many people who have overcome problems with addiction would understandably rather put the experience behind them and never think about it again. However, Chet Hanks is using his struggle with addiction and eventual rehabilitation as an inspiration to others.
In June 2019, Hanks took to Instagram to share a shot of himself speaking in front of a crowd of teenagers and young adults. “Thanks again to @oneoncampus @visionsteen for having me come talk to the kids about growing up, life, and sobriety,” he captioned the image. “I got a lot out of it and hope they did too.” After adding a 100 emoji, he finished his message with: “Progress not perfection. All Love.”
The two organizations Hanks mentioned aim to help students deal with issues around addiction and offer paths to treatment options. One On Campus is a non-profit that offers drop-ins, peer support groups, and events, as well as information and “a free 24/7 Nationwide assistance line for parents offering viable resources during times of struggle.” Visions Teen runs treatment facilities and “a safe, supportive, and intensive program” that helps those who are trying to improve their lives “come to terms with their problems and begin to make positive choices.” Both initiatives are amazing resources and Hanks’ involvement is definitely commendable.
Chet Hanks is a doting dad
While Chet Hanks may be primarily known as Tom Hanks’ and Rita Wilson’s kid — despite his attempts to prove himself as both an actor and rapper — the son of two Hollywood stars is, in fact, a father himself. Back in 2016, Chet welcomed a baby girl into the world with Tiffany Miles and named the little one Michaiah. While opening up about his relationship with his daughter during an interview with Access Live in 2018, Hanks addressed the hardships that he’s been through with drugs and admitted, “If my daughter wasn’t born, I don’t know if I would have made the change necessary. She saved my life, honestly.”
That change has resulted in some pretty adorable times between the pair, which the proud papa likes to share on Instagram, where the two can be seen playing, cuddling, reading together, or even getting ready for Christmas. “Doing all the things that my dad used to do with me. No better feeling,” Hanks captioned the latter, proving that he is like his own father in the ways that really matter.
You'll cringe over Chet Hanks' controversial statements
Tom Hanks tends to make headlines by earning industry accolades or doing adorable things like crashing a couple’s wedding photoshoot. Frankly, Time magazine even ran a piece about the “6 Most Tom Hanks Things That Tom Hanks Has Ever Done,” which was filled with charming tidbits about the beloved star. On the other hand, his son, Chet Hanks, sometimes makes waves for downright cringe-worthy reasons.
For instance, in 2015, the younger Hanks defended his right to use the n-word because he’s into hip hop culture. Naturally, that didn’t go over well, and in 2018, he himself admitted “that s**t wasn’t cool,” while blaming his past questionable behavior on drugs and the fact that he wanted to “be down” while also “trolling” for attention.
However, according to Pedestrian, in 2020, the actor-rapper “[made] headlines once again, only this time [it was] because he [was] genuinely convinced that ‘snowboarding,’ ‘Billabong t-shirts,’ and the word ‘gnarly’ are white culture.” Hanks tried to argue on Instagram that if “a Rastafarian with dreadlocks who grew up in Jamaica watching the X Games and Olympics” got into those things, “are white people supposed to get mad at him for appropriating their culture?” He asked, “So my question is how come it doesn’t work both ways?” Perhaps Hanks isn’t the best person to be asking that kind of question — especially considering the others ways he’s been accused of crossing the line around cultural appropriation.
Tom Hanks' son stirred up trouble with a fake Jamaican accent
Speaking of cultural appropriation, Chet Hanks was accused of it himself when he showed up to the 2020 Golden Globes, where his father, Tom Hanks, was being honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Chet ended up stirring up a scandal when he hit the red carpet and spoke with a Jamaican Patois accent. While People points out that Chet’s mother, Rita Wilson, thought it was “maybe the best laugh of the night,” others didn’t agree.
Chet was called out for his behavior on social media, which apparently surprised him. “Never in a million years would I have thought that me just goofing around on the red carpet would have got so much attention but man, it’s been crazy,” he said in an Instagram video (in which he again started with the fake accent). While he may have indeed just been messing around, he also released a new song at the same time, hinting at the fact that he did this just to stir up attention.
However, Hanks eventually changed tactics and posted another video, while writing, “I want to thank everybody and anybody who has taken the time to offer me a constructive critique/perspective for the entirety of this conversation. Your words have not fallen on deaf ears. I have been paying attention to everything you guys have been saying, and it has been deeply eye-opening.”
Chet Hanks is the 'black sheep' of his family, but they accept him for who he is
Unsurprisingly, Tom Hanks’ son, Chet Hanks, says he’s the “black sheep” of his family, but just because he’s not like his parents or siblings doesn’t mean that the family rejects him. In fact, they seem to fully support him, even when times get tough.
Hanks has opened up about the fact that during his darkest times with drug abuse, his parents were still trying to reach out to him. However, he was the one who cut them off because he felt “anger and resentment” toward them, which he says was really a way to direct those negative emotions outward instead of toward himself. Beyond that, Hanks told Access Live during a 2018 interview that his mom, Rita Wilson, knew his drug issue was going to be a problem before he did. “Moms always know best,” he said. “Moms can see what you’re going through.”
The unconditional support is perhaps why Chet seems to adore his family, taking to Instagram to share posts on his parents’ anniversary or on his mom’s birthday, respectively along with messages like “LOVE YOU GUYS” and “who loves you more than me???” He may not share a lot of similarities with the rest of the Hanks, but Chet certainly seems to be just as loving as the rest of his famous family.
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