Chet Hanks Reveals "The Truth" About Growing Up as Tom Hanks' Son Amid “Toxic” Fame

Chet Hanks revealed what it was truly like to grow up with Tom Hanks as his dad, calling his experience a "double-edged sword" in new YouTube video.

By Kelly Gilmore Feb 16, 2022 3:54 AMTags
Watch: Chet Hanks Reveals the TRUTH About Life as Tom Hanks' Son

Chet Hanks did not hold back about his life in the spotlight.

In a YouTube video uploaded Feb. 15, Chet shared what it was really like growing up as the son of actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

The 31 year old said that while he grew up very "blessed" with parents he loves, the unique experience was a "double-edged sword." 

"There's a lot of advantages but sometimes it can be pretty weird," he said. "I got to do a lot of cool s--t that a lot of people don't get the opportunity to do. I got to travel the world, stay in nice hotels, fly on private planes and I'm very blessed for that. I wouldn't change my situation."

But he also reflected on how people's infatuation with fame can brew a lot of "jealousy" and "envy." 

"My experience was even more complicated because on top of fame already being toxic, I wasn't even famous," Chet said. "I was just the son of somebody famous so I hadn't even done anything to deserve any sort of recognition and that created a lot of contempt." 

Chet Haze vs. Tom Hanks

He noted that after he attended the same school for preschool through middle school, things got worse when he entered a new crowd in high school and college. 

"People would make up their minds about me before they even got the chance to know me and it was extremely hard to break down their walls," the Empire actor said, admitting that this experience led him to get a "chip" on his shoulder and develop a "hard exterior." 

Chet added, "People kinda did f--k with me a lot growing up. It was never to my face. It was always behind my back in the forms of gossip or s--t talking."

Holding a mirror up to the man he once was and the man he is today, Chet shared that it took a long time for him to learn that "people's perception of you is only a reflection of themselves." He has now "changed" his "life" and is no longer on the "self-destructive" path of anger and partying, he said.

Chet, who recently faced backlash for his comments on the COVID-19 vaccine, also shared that his "hard exterior" was not just bred from anger, but also from being "ashamed" and "insecure" about growing up "privileged." 

Before closing out, Chet promised that he will always give the "whole truth" about his life in Hollywood and that there is more to come.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at