‘I ain’t paying 28 million bucks’


tom hanks

Tom Hanks attends “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” New York Screening at Henry R. Luce Auditorium at Brookfield Place on November 17, 2019. Dominik Bindl/FilmMagic/Getty Images

  • Tom Hanks said Jeff Bezos offered him a seat on a spaceflight before William Shatner.

  • Hanks said he turned the offer down because of the price tag.

  • “I ain’t paying 28 [million] bucks,” Hanks said.

Tom Hanks was the featured guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Tuesday during which he said Jeff Bezos originally approached him about flying to space, but he turned it down because of the price.

Opening the show, Kimmel asked the 65-year-old actor whether it was true that the Amazon billionaire approached him about spaceflight before actor William Shatner, who was launched into space last month by Bezos’s rocket company Blue Origin. Hanks responded: “Well, yeah, provided I pay.”

“And, you know, it cost 28 million bucks or something like that. And I’m doing good, Jimmy, I’m doing good. But I ain’t paying 28 [million] bucks,” Hanks added.

Hanks continued to dismiss the idea of flying to space and said anyone could replicate the flying experience themselves.

“You know, we could simulate the experience of going to space right now. It’s about a 12-minute flight, is that about it? We could all do it in our seats right here,” Hanks said before comically simulating the in-flight experience.

“I don’t need to spend 28 million bucks to do that. I can do that at home,” he added.

Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers, and Glen de Vries in blue space jumpsuits

William Shatner and the crew of the Blue Origin flight. Blue Origin

Kimmel later asked Hanks if he would consider boarding a spaceflight if it was free. “I would do it on occasion just in order to experience the joy. Pretending I’m a billionaire,” Hanks said in response.

While Hanks declined Bezos’s invitation, he is thought to be among the list of celebrities who have reserved tickets worth up to $250,000 to be in the first waves of space tourists on Richard Branson’s commercial space liner Virgin Galactic.

Roughly 600 people from 58 countries reserved tickets, and Hanks is believed to be among that list, which reportedly includes other celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Russell Brand, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Ashton Kutcher. In February last year, the company also rolled out a campaign that pulled in a further 1,000 sign ups – this time for refundable $1,000 deposits toward the price of a full ticket.

Virgin Galactic has estimated the value of deposits at $80 million, and former CEO George Whitesides told Insider he expects space tourism to eventually pull in $10 to $15 billion per year. The company says it aims to launch as many as 400 flights per year, carrying up to six passengers and two pilots each, departing from and landing at the Spaceport America home base in New Mexico.

At 90, Shatner became the oldest person to fly to space on Blue Origin’s spacecraft in October.

Speaking to the press following his return, Shatner said: “I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.”

“It’s so much larger than me and life. It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men. … It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death,” he added.

Check out Hanks’ full interview below:

Read the original article on Insider

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