With every transition of Forrest’s age, one thing remains the same. In the first scene of each transition he wears a blue plaid shirt.
When Forrest gets up to talk at the Vietnam rally in Washington, the microphone plug is pulled and you cannot hear him. According to Tom Hanks, he says, “Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That’s all I have to say about that.”
Tom Hanks signed onto the film after an hour and a half of reading the script but agreed to take the role only on the condition that the film was historically accurate. He initially wanted to ease Forrest’s pronounced Southern accent, but was eventually persuaded by director Robert Zemeckis to portray the heavy accent stressed in the novel and patterned his accent after Michael Conner Humphreys (young Forrest) who actually talked that way.
When Forrest first learns to play ping-pong in the infirmary, he is told the trick is to “keep his eye on the ball” by another soldier. After that moment, whenever he is shown playing ping-pong, he never blinks.
Forrest and Dan’s Shrimp Emporium “Bubba Gump”, is now a themed restaurant in 33 locations around the world in the U.S., Japan, China, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and the UK. There is one in Orlando, Florida, at the entrance to the Universal theme parks.
During the ping-pong matches, there was no ball; it was entirely CGI, animated to meet the actors’ paddles.
The running scene was inspired by an actual event. In 1982, Louis Michael Figueroa, aged 16, ran from New Jersey to San Francisco for the American Cancer Society, unknowingly inspiring a line for Forrest Gump’s famous run on the silver screen. “I just put one foot in front of the other,” it goes. “When I get tired I sleep. When I get hungry I eat. When I have to go to the bathroom, I go.”
Gump’s Medal of Honor ceremony uses the footage of the actual ceremony for Sammy L. Davis, who was awarded the Medal of Honor on 19 November 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson for his actions in Vietnam a year earlier. Tom Hanks’ head was superimposed on Davis’ body.
There is a book sequel to Forrest Gump in which Forrest helps develop New Coke, crashes the Exxon Valdez, helps destroy the Berlin Wall, meets Tom Hanks, and fights in Operation Desert Storm with an orangutan named Sue.