See Young Jenny From "Forrest Gump" Now at 37
Hanna Hall has continued acting and also worked behind the scenes.
She delivered one of the most famous lines of dialogue written for the movies, but you probably don't know her name. Even still, when Hanna Hall shouted "Run, Forrest, run!" as young Jenny in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, she earned her place in film history—at age 10. It would be a difficult role for any actor to follow, but Hall's Hollywood career didn't end with that Oscar-winning Tom Hanks blockbuster. Keep reading to see what she's been doing in the years since, and where she is today, at age 37.
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She continued acting into adulthood.
Hall's next role after Forrest Gump was in the 1996 television adaptation of Homecoming, Cynthia Voight's beloved children's novel. Hall played one of a hardscrabble group of siblings who are abandoned by their single mother and must set out across the northeast alone in search of their grandmother (played in the film by Anne Bancroft). Hall, along with her costars, was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Young Ensemble.
A few years later, in 1999, Hall was featured in another novel adaptation about a group of troubled siblings. She played one of the Libson sisters, the titular group of doomed teenagers in Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides and starring Kirsten Dunst.
Hall later appeared in Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of horror classic Halloween, praising the filmmaker as "one of my favorite directors [she'd] ever worked with" to HollywoodChicago.com.
The former child actor next performed in a number of independent films, including American Cowslip, starring Val Kilmer; and Radio Free Albemuth, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, alongside Ashley Greene and Alanis Morissette.
On television, Hall has guest starred in episodes of Criminal Minds, Masters of Sex, and The Purge.
She went to film school and became a theater director.
Eventually, Hall also began to focus on working behind the scenes. She attended the Vancouver Film School, studied production, and graduated in 2005. "It takes the ego out of being an actor when you realize that the overall product is not solely about your performance," she told HollywoodChicago.com in 2012. "It's really a collective art form…I've done pretty much every job on set on some level. The performance of the actor is very important and is the link to the audience in a lot of ways, but it's also just a small part of something a lot bigger."
The same year as that interview, Hall began working as an avant-garde theater director in Los Angeles. As she put it in her creator bio on the Kickstarter page for a production of a play called Astral Dick, "[D]irecting underground theater … is her way of sweetly strangling the lame commercial world that robbed her of a childhood."
She still gets recognized as Jenny.
Decades after she played young Jenny, Hall's iconic childhood role still follows her around. "Mostly it's like people think I look familiar, like 'Oh did I go to high school with you?'" the actor told Yahoo's The Yo Show, as quoted by International Business Times, adding that people will often ask her to repeat her most famous line once they realize who she is.
"The funniest is [when I'm] just walking down the street and hear someone yell it to their friend, having no idea that I'm standing right there," she said. "And I'm like, that was me."
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She has a new, modern Hollywood career.
Hall's most recent Hollywood job is taking place behind the camera, fulfilling a fascinating and necessary—if lesser known—on-set role: That of intimacy coordinator. The field is growing as more and more movie and TV productions hire intimacy coordinators to ensure safety.
As described on Hall's professional website, she's a member of the Intimacy Professionals Association and works with actors and directors to ensure that everyone involved in filming scenes with "intimacy and/or nudity" knows what to expect, has fully consented, and feels comfortable. She recently served as intimacy coordinator for the 2022 remake of Queer as Folk, premiering June 9 on the streaming service Peacock.
As she continues her behind-the-scenes career, Hall also occasionally attends conventions, even reuniting with the actor who played young Forrest, Michael Connor Humphreys (pictured above), to sign memorabilia and meet fans.
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