Back in 1984, a little movie called Splash came out. It was right at the height of Tom Hanks’ impressive movie and television career.
America had gotten to know him in Bosom Buddies prior to. He would go on to star in classics like Big and Turner & Hooch. And years later, he would meet up with Meg Ryan in the first of their many movies. Sure, Joe Versus the Volcano may not have been as big of a hit as Sleepless in Seattle, but it’s still pretty well known.
But prior to Meg Ryan, he was fictionally courting another star — Daryl Hannah. In Splash, Daryl plays a mermaid who actually saved Tom’s character from drowning when he was younger.
Once she’s in the water, her tail appears. But when she’s outside, she manages to have human legs. The two fall in love, but being a mermaid is a big secret to keep.
It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been 36 years since the movie came out. But it’s still a classic — and for those of us born in the ’80s and ’90s, it was almost required viewing. Lucky for us, a Splash reunion took place. Do Daryl and Tom still have the same chemistry that they used to?
If there’s one thing to know about Splash, it’s this. The movie was credited for creating the name “Madison.” It’s the name of Daryl’s character, thought up on the fly after seeing Madison Avenue. Prior to the movie, it wasn’t a name popularly used for kids. These days, it’s everywhere.
Speaking of the film’s influence, it obviously meant something to actor Josh Gad. Josh was the one who thought it was time for a reunion between some of the film’s biggest stars. Aside from Tom and Daryl, the film also features Eugene Levy, who’s fresh off the success of the comedy series Schitt’s Creek.
His web series is called Reunited Apart, which means that he more or less found a great way to keep the world entertained while staying at home. He also invited director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer to join the chat. Also there? Ryan Reynolds.
Ryan might not have been in this film, but he was there to help represent someone major who has since died — John Candy. As John was one of the biggest names in comedy, Ryan felt the need to pay his respects to the late actor. Plus, Ryan is always so good with improvising that he was bound to make the episode even more enjoyable.
It turns out that Daryl, who’s currently married to singer-songwriter Neil Young, was mostly nervous about the big kiss scene. Back then, she was only in her early 20s. “I was terrified because I was still, even though I was like 21 or 22, I still really hadn’t had a boyfriend,” she said. “I was terrified about the kiss.”
But obviously she pulled it off. And since Tom is one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, surely he made her feel at ease. However, there was more difficulty being that their big kiss scene happened underwater. “Tom and I didn’t have masks so we couldn’t really see,” Daryl said. “So it was like hit or miss whether we got the signals or understood them.”
But the underwater aspect of the film was one of the reasons why it was so special for Tom. “That was one of the best great adventures of the whole thing,” he said. “Between going on vacation and getting paid to learn how to scuba dive.” At that moment, he literally had no clue that his career would blossom so much afterward.
But one of the craziest things they talked about was actually a prop. Daryl had to wear a tail throughout much of the film, and it was supposedly very uncomfortable to put on every day. “Daryl had to spend hours getting glued into that very painful thing,” Tom said. “I remember seeing your toes once, Daryl, and they had to squeeze them in so hard they were bleeding.”
It’s a memory that Daryl also shares. Likely because she still has a scar on her toe from filming. It must be quite the battle wound. Just imagine having a scar for 36 years because you were supposed to look like a mermaid. While painful, it was definitely an impressive feature, especially for the time.
The crew also talked about how John Candy got the role of Tom Hanks’ brother in the film. Obviously, it was always a good idea to put him in films, as he always stole the show. But could they actually pass as brothers? “John Candy’s a comedy star,” said Ron Howard. “That’s what they have in common.”
They also talked about the scene where Daryl had to eat a lobster. During filming, Daryl was a vegetarian — so she asked if she could have something substituted in, so that she wouldn’t have to eat an actual lobster. They ended up making her something that, according to the cast, was more like a giant cookie.
Everyone who saw it in person totally knew it wasn’t the best. “It was [so] hard you couldn’t even bite it,” Ron said with some sympathy, later referring to it as a “design prop failure.” So they had to make Daryl eat a real lobster. They placed a spit bucket nearby, so she wouldn’t have to ingest any of it.
But that didn’t work, either. Daryl was so upset over seeing the lobster and knowing what would have to happen next that she cried and had to get her makeup redone. So finally, they thought up the solution that made it on screen: a lobster shell stuffed with mashed potatoes.
It’s not every day that the cast from a 36-year-old movie can chat once again. It’s so great that Josh Gad managed to get everyone together to talk about such a classic film. It seems like Tom and Daryl still have nothing but respect for one another. The only question left to ask is, where is it streaming?