The Guy Rejected by Tom Hanks for Having 'Dead Eyes' Lands Interview with Tom Hanks
Actor/comedian Connor Ratliff hosts a podcast called Dead Eyes. Over two decades ago, Ratliff was rejected by Tom Hanks
for a small role on Band of Brothers because, he was told, Hanks said that he had “dead eyes.” That’s the premise of the podcast.
You wouldn’t think Ratliff would get a lot of mileage out of it, but he’s up to three seasons and 30 episodes now, and I’ve listened to nine or ten of them myself,
and you’d be surprised by how much juice there is in the idea. Ratliff has spoken to a number of other actors who were rejected for Band of Brothers
(Seth Rogen, David Krumholtz, Zach Braff, Adam Scott**); he’s talked to people who have worked with Tom Hanks (including the kid who played the young Tom Hanks character in Big);
he’s talked to people who were actually in Band of Brothers (Ron Livingston); he’s talked to Damon Lindelof (in the episode that turned me on to the podcast) and Rian Johnson;
and he’s even talked to Tom Hanks’ son, Colin.* It’s a great podcast, and I think one that actors themselves appreciate the most because they talk a lot about failed auditions;
the nature of failure; and how small, insignificant moments to one person can have a lasting impact on another person.
Bay Area Earthquake
To wit: Tom Hanks probably doesn’t remember rejecting Connor Ratliff twenty years ago for a small role in Band of Brothers.