See Young Forrest From "Forrest Gump" Now at 37
In one sense, actor Michael Conner Humphreys followed in his character's footsteps.
Before audiences ever got to see Tom Hanks doing his famous run, they got to know the character through the young version of Forrest Gump, who was played by Michael Conner Humphreys in the movie of the same name. The actor was eight years old when he was cast in the role, and he had a major impact on the film. Not only did he help viewers connect to Forrest through his portrayal of the character at the start of the movie, but he is also responsible for Forrest's unique accent. Hanks copied Mississippian Humphrey's southern accent, rather than the other way around.
After acting in the 1994 Best Picture winner, Humphreys didn't continue working as a child actor. But there was one way in which he followed in his character's footsteps. Read on to find out more about Humphreys' life today at age 37.
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He joined the army.
In a 2015 interview with Fox News, Humphreys shared that he wasn't interested in continuing to act as a child but did appear in some school productions. "No one really wanted to move to LA," he explained.
After high school, much like his movie character, Humphreys joined the army. He served for seven years, according to his Instagram bio. Humphreys told the Daily Mail in 2015 that working on Forrest Gump played a part in him joining the military.
"Where we were filming was very close to Parris Island, the Marine Training Camp in South Carolina where all the helicopters that were used in the Vietnam scene came from," he said. "I would often tell the director and producers how cool I thought all the helicopters were and then one weekend they actually arranged for some of the Marine Corps to take me over to Parris Island and show me the fighter jets … It was basically all the stuff that regular kids my age would never have got the opportunity to do, and I can honestly say that experience directly motivated me to join the military later." Humphreys also revealed that his nickname in the army was "Gump."
Now he's a teacher.
After serving, Humphreys attended the University of Northern Alabama and studied international relations. According to a 2021 interview with Snack mag, Humphreys now lives in a suburb of Portland, Oregon and teaches young Chinese students English remotely. He said that the kids don't know much about Forrest Gump, but their parents do. Speaking to The Paul Leslie Hour in 2020, Humphreys shared that he previously worked in security for Vancouver, Washington transportation.
He's interested in acting again.
In addition to Forrest Gump, Humphreys was in the 2011 movie Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers and in a 2021 episode of Knight's End. He told Snack mag that he's interested in getting back into acting.
"I've been trying to work my way back into acting," he said. "Just slowly but surely. I've been doing acting classes in Portland, and little small roles, mainly theater. Now I have actually been doing acting classes, I've rediscovered how much I like it. I'm confident with going to try out for stuff now, which was not the case throughout most of my life."
He reunited with some of his co-stars.
Humphreys has reunited with a couple of his Forrest Gump co-stars. In 2019, he posted a photo of himself and Hanna R. Hall, who played young Jenny in the movie, on Instagram. The two both participated in a fan convention in New Jersey. Also in 2019, Humphreys shared a photo of himself with Sally Field, who played Forrest's mother. He said that they ran into each other at a bookstore. "Brief run-in at Powell's last fall, first in 25 years," he wrote in the caption.
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