Tom Hanks as cupid? The mega star made a Texas couple's romantic dreams come true.
Tom Hanks helped a Texas couple (Ryan McFarling had Nikki Young) get engaged. (Photo courtesy Texas Book Fair.)
In the time of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, leave it to Tom Hanks to remind everyone that there is some good in Hollywood.
Hanks — the everyman star with $350 million-plus net worth — pulled off this bit of magic in Texas, too. The mega star turned a reading of his new book Uncommon Type: Some Stories (yes, Tom Hanks is now a writer too) into a chance to make a Texas couple’s most romantic engagement dreams come true.
Don’t worry, this wasn’t a You’ve Got Mail situation.
Though it was set in a book store. Or at least, at the famed Texas Book Festival in Austin.
At the end of a Q&A session with a packed house (Hanks can draw a crowd doing anything), the two-time Oscar winner said that he had a question of his own. Then, he pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and said that a man in the audience (Ryan McFarling) had a question for a Nicki Young. “Nicki, will you marry me?” Hanks said, essentially asking the question for Young’s would-be husband from the stage.
Hanks called the San Antonio couple from the audience and up onto the stage — as McFarling got down on one knee and presented his love with the ring. Of course, Nicki said yes (presumably she knew she’d be marrying McFarling and not Hanks).
The 39-year-old Young is a Hanks fanatic — she has what she calls a “shrine” (her word) to the actor in a special room in her home that’s filled with memorabilia from Hanks’ ultra successful career. Young traces her love for Hanks all the way back to his Bosom Buddies days.
This wasn’t just any other marriage proposal.
“It was an emotional blur,” she tells the San Antonio Express-News. She remembers “kissing Ryan and having lots of hugs for Tom.”
Of course, Hanks mined the moment for a little comedy — a little bit of the Hanks touch. On the stage with both Young and her future husband standing next to him, he turned to the crowd and said, “We can all see that this is a very lucky man. We can also see that she could do a little better.”
Hey, McFarling asked for it. He reached out to the organizers of the Texas Book Fair with his ingenious engagement idea and asked if Hanks might consider participating.
This gives new definition to the phrase, “Happy wife, happy life.”
The newly engaged couple plans to invite Hanks to their wedding. Don’t be surprised if the star finds a way to attend. This is guy who believes in a good romance.
I once sat right in front of Tom Hanks and his wife of 29 years, Rita Wilson, for an entire Broadway show and didn’t even realize it till the curtain went up (Hanks and Wilson slipped in after the lights were turned down). As the rest of the crowd started to realize it was Hanks and come rushing toward him for autographs, he became very protective of his wife and getting her out of there.
This is one Hollywood star whose real-life persona lives up to his movie one.
Watch Hanks turn into cupid in Texas: