12 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘That Thing You Do!’

It’s been 20 years since That Thing You Do! first hit theaters. The film follows the rise and fall of a one-hit wonder band called The Wonders during the summer of 1964. In addition to being directed by Tom Hanks, the film also marks the big break of several famous actors. The hit musical song in the film also did moderately well in real life as it peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been covered by ‘N Sync and Pentatonix. Here are 12 more facts you didn’t know about That Thing You Do!

1. Tom Hanks wrote the script in just 30 days.

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He wrote it while on his promotional tour for Forrest Gump because of his boredom from non-stop interviews.

2. That Thing You Do was Hanks’s writer-directorial film debut.

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3. That Thing You Do was also Tom Everett Scott’s first movie but he almost didn’t get the part because he looked too much like Tom Hanks.

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It was Rita Wilson, Hank’s wife, who ultimately convinced Hanks to cast him.

4. The four main actors had to spend weeks learning how to play instruments and the songs they’d play in the film.

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While the songs were ultimately dubbed over, Hanks wanted the actors to look like they could actually play music.

5. Other possible band names seen in Jimmy’s notebook include The Didoctics, The Dollars, The Flannels, The Lords of Erie, The Pistunes, The Mozarts, The Thorns, and The Ticks.

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6. Capn’ Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters were actual shrimp restaurants that were located close to where Forrest Gump was filmed.

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Capn’ Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters is the name of the beach band in the film.

7. Hanks named his production company Play-Tone after the fictional record label in the film.

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It was established in 1998 by Hanks and Gary Goetzman.

8. The first name of Hank’s character is only mentioned once in the film.

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It is revealed when the Play Tone President is attempting to eat a sandwich when he is interrupted by Jimmy. The President then shouts at Hanks’s character and yells, “Andy! What in the bloody hell is this? Auditions during my lunchtime?”

9. The name of Ethan Embry’s character is never actually established.

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He is only referred to as “The Bass Player” in the film and is credited as T.B. Player.

10. According to Hanks, Charlize Theron was the first actress to audition for her part and the first person to be cast in the film.

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It was the second credited role Charlize Theron ever had.

11. Although the hometown of the band takes place in Erie, Pennsylvania, the shots were actually filmed in Orange, California.

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12. Hank’s son and daughter make brief cameos in the film.

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His son, Colin, appears as an usher who escorts Liv Tyler and his daughter, Elizabeth, is seen being bored in a dress shop.

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