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Ever since its release in 1994, Forrest Gump has been a beloved part of American cinema. The film follows the adventures of the lovable title character, played by Tom Hanks, as he tells the story of his life. Along the way, he unwittingly witnesses and influences important moments in 20th-century history. One of the more memorable supporting characters in the film is Lieutenant Dan—played by actor Gary Sinise—who Forrest serves under in Vietnam. His character journey and transformation as he loses both legs in the war and then goes on to find success at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is part of what makes Lieutenant Dan such an unforgettable figure in the film.
Recently, Sinise gave his Instagram followers a treat when he shared some behind-the-scenes photos from the set. The first photo shows a young Hank, Sinise, and Mykelti Williamson, who played Bubba, standing outside a trailer on location. (The movie was shot during much of 1993, primarily in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.) In the next, Hanks appears to be regaling his co-stars with an anecdote while on break from shooting a scene set in Vietnam. Dressed in Army gear, everyone appears to be enjoying a moment of levity during what would have been intense filming.
There's also Sinise, in a classic Lieutenant Dan pose, with other members of the platoon surrounding him. This image, with Sinise showing the bravado that Dan possessed while in combat, is a striking contrast to the last image in the series. In the movie, Lieutenant Dan is saved by Forrest while under attack, and then undergoes a double amputation. Upon returning home, he falls into a deep depression until the success of the shrimping company shows him that life goes on. In the final still that Sinise shared, we see him floating in the water, filming the scene where Forrest says that he “made his peace with God.”
Nearly 20,000 people have liked Sinise's slideshow since it was posted, which just shows how beloved Forrest Gump is even after nearly 30 years. The movie was already a hit when it was released, but this has renewed interest in the iconic film. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it grossed $678.2 worldwide during its time in theaters and was that year's top-grossing film in North America. It also earned six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Hanks.
For Sinise, his time on Forrest Gump has had a lasting impact. While he received accolades for his performance and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, his time on set also pushed him to be of service to veterans. He often performs USO tours with his group, Lt. Dan Band, and is on the Advisory Council of Hope For The Warriors. This non-profit provides assistance to wounded service members and their families, as well as to families of those killed in the line of duty.
Actor Gary Sinise shared behind-the-scenes photos of his time on the set of Forrest Gump.
In the 1994 film, Sinise plays Forrest's platoon leader in Vietnam, Lieutenant Dan.
After losing both his legs in the war, Lieutenant Dan must come to peace with his new life.
Inspired by his time on set, Sinise is highly involved in supporting veterans and often plays USO tours.
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