Is Forrest Gump Real? The Truth Behind the Character

The 1994 movie Forrest Gump is easily one of the most memorable movies of the decade. Some would even argue that it’s one of the best movies of the century. In addition to being a box office hit, the movie also earned praise from viewers and critics alike. It was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won five.

Starring Tom Hanks in the title role, the film follows the life of Forrest Gump, an Alabama native with a bit of a learning delay. Despite not picking up on things as quickly as many others, Forrest proves to be an intelligent and compassionate person. He is always there for the people he cares about and isn’t afraid to step outside his comfort zone. Not only does he go on to accomplish a lot of great things in his life, but he also found himself at the center of some of the United States’ most historical moments. The movie and character have become so well known over the years that many people have questioned whether the film is based on a true story. Is Forrest Gump real? Keep reading to find out.

Forrest Gump Is Based on a Book

credit: Paramount Pictures

While most people are probably pretty familiar with the movie, many are unaware that Forrest Gump’s story started as a book. The novel, also titled Forrest Gump, was written by Winston Groom and released in 1986. The book was reasonably successful but never became as widely known as the film.

Although there are many similarities between the movie and the book, the film does differ in some ways. For example, in the novel, Forrest suffers from savant syndrome, which is made clear to readers. Additionally, Forrest’s personality is much different in the book. He is a bit rougher around the edges and prone to things like violence and swearing.

On top of that, Forrest’s story doesn’t play out the same way in the movie as it does in the book. His relationships with other characters — especially Jenny — are very different in each version of the story.

There are also some differences between how Forrest’s appearance was described in the book and the movie. In the novel, Forrest is described as somewhat overweight, but this is not the case in the movie. All of these differences mean that you can read and enjoy the book without feeling like you already know how it will end.

Is Forrest Gump Real?

credit: Paramount Pictures

Tom Hanks did such a great job of bringing the character to life that it’s easy to see why so many people think Forrest Gump is (or was) a real person. In reality, however, the character is entirely fictional. When talking about how he came up with the character and his story, Winston Groom told Blue and Gray Education, “Forrest Gump wrote itself. I did it in six weeks. I didn’t have an outline or notes. Gump was such as improbable character. He was the perfect idiot. I didn’t know where I was going with him. Come on, playing for Bear Bryant at Alabama with an IQ of 60? If readers would believe that, I found I could do almost anything with him.”

Certain aspects of the character were also inspired by other people that Groom knew or came in contact with. On top of that, the historical events that Forrest was present for in the movie did actually happen. This is a big part of why so many people believe Forrest is a real person.

Forrest Gump’s Legacy

credit: Paramount Pictures

It’s been well over 30 years since Forrest Gump the novel was released and nearly 30 years since the film debuted. The fact that Forrest has been able to withstand the test of time is something you don’t see often in the entertainment industry. The harsh reality is that many characters end up fading into obscurity within just a few years, but there’s always been something special about Forrest.

Despite not being an actual person, Forrest Gump has still earned a special place in the hearts of countless people all over the world. Perhaps one of the reasons the character has always been so popular is because his story proves that people can accomplish anything they put their minds to, and having a positive outlook on life can really pay off. At the end of the day, people love a feel-good story, and that’s precisely what Forrest Gump is. Plus, Forrest gave the world some great quotes that fans will never forget. Needless to say, this is one character that will continue to be part of pop culture for years to come.

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