Tom Hanks' Niece Addresses Her "Shocked" Reaction to Claim to Fame Elimination

Tom Hanks' niece Carly Reeves addressed her emotional exit after being eliminated during the season 2 premiere of Claim to Fame.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Jun 27, 2023 3:07 PMTags
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Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get—or in this case, what's going to give you away. 

Such was the case for Carly Reeves, whose relation to Tom Hanks was discovered during the season 2 premiere of ABC's Claim to Fame. Carly is the two-time Oscar winner's niece through marriage—she is the niece of his wife Rita Wilson—however show producers and ABC executives suggested she choose the Castaway actor as her relative due to his fame. 

And that decision may have won her the show's first elimination, as clues from Forrest Gump easily gave away Carly's celebrity relative. 

"I was in a complete fog," the 39-year-old told USA Today of her exit. "I don't even remember Tom's picture showing up. My eyes were so full of water. I was crying so much, I couldn't even breathe. I just was hyperventilating a little bit because I was shocked."

Her secret was discovered when the clues to her familial tie—an image of a ping pong paddle and a park bench—were connected to Tom's 1994 hit.

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His freakin' clues are so freakin' obvious," Carly objected during the premiere. "There's literally no reference to benches on any other movie. Even Gabriel [a fellow contestant] found that out. He's not even, like, smart."

"I didn't even get to do any challenges!" she continued. "I don't deserve this! I should have more camera time! I should be here longer!"

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Carly's exit during the season's first episode means she won't get a chance at the $100,000 prize, which is awarded to whichever contestant can successfully hide their identity for the duration of the show. 

And for an actor like Tom with so many blockbuster successes, Carly felt frustrated with the producers' choice of Forrest Gump—which she felt to be an easy giveaway.

"I felt like I didn't get as easy a game as everyone else," she continued to USA Today. "They could have used a million different clues from all of his different movies, but they decided to use the biggest movie of his and make three clues about that. I thought I didn't get a good shot at it, and I just felt like it was all kind of planned to make me go home." 

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

But whether Carly regrets her emotional final moments, she says that's just who she is.

"Honestly, I'm an emotional person, so I'm obviously going to react in a big way," she explained. "Could I have handled myself better and been a little bit more graceful with it? Yes. But as far as being upset and sad, that was all real. So, I can't regret it."

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