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Tom Hanks reacts to niece Carly's Claim to Fame appearance

Carly is related to Tom through his wife Rita Wilson


tom hanks and niece carly split photo
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
28 June 2023
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Tom Hanks' niece Carly Reeves made headlines after having a meltdown whilst appearing on ABC's hit reality series, Claim to Fame.

The actress, who is related to the Hollywood icon through his wife Rita Wilson, has revealed her uncle's reaction to her debut on the show.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 39-year-old was asked how the Forrest Gump star responded when she told him that she had signed up for the program. "Oh, he was excited for me," she said. "He was like, 'Going on a show, that's your choice. I hope you do well. Best of luck.'"

tom hanks niece carly claim to fame© ABC
Tom Hanks' niece Carly appeared on Claim to Fame

In a separate interview with Zachary Reality, Carly explained that she had emailed Tom to tell him about her appearance on the show and that he was "very happy" for her.

MORE: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson twin in matching outfits after revealing secrets to 35-year marriage

MORE: Rita Wilson talks Tom Hanks' first wife – and the huge role their divorce cost him

She also said that she hoped she hadn't "embarrassed him" with her appearance when asked if he would be tuning into the episode. "I hope so," she told EW. "I mean, maybe I don't want him to watch it because I don't want to embarrass him for any reason. I hope I don't embarrass him, but I don't think I do. 

Carley is related to Tom Hanks through Rita Wilson© Dia Dipasupil
Carley is related to Tom Hanks through Rita Wilson

"So, I would love for him to watch it, because I think it's hilarious… He's happy for me no matter what. He did ask me, "Did you make some money?" And I was like, "Yeah, I made a little bit." And he said, "Ok, good." So, he was happy that I made a little money."

Opening up about her relationship with Tom, Carly explained that she saw more of the actor when she was younger and that they would often go on family holidays together.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson attend the "Asteroid City" red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals© Getty Images
Carly said Tom was "very happy" for her

"We're still close. I mean he's so hard to get a hold of because he's always traveling and doing stuff but he's always been supportive of my acting career," she said. "I've always been an actor ever since high school and he even came to my class once to talk to my acting class."

Carly also added that Tom has been in the audience at several of her theatre productions over the years and while she landed a role in his film, Larry Crowne, she had to audition "like everyone else". 

tom hanks niece crying on claim to fame© ABC
Carly broke down in tears after being eliminated

"He's not the kind of person who's just going to throw you a bone and be like, 'Here's a role!'" she explained. "He wants to make sure that I'm able to pull off a role if he were to give me one."

Carly, who was a flower girl at Tom's wedding to her aunt when she was four years old, was eliminated from Claim to Fame in the season two premiere – a moment that quickly went viral on the internet. 

WATCH: Tom Hanks' niece Carly has meltdown on Claim to Fame

The reality show, which is co-hosted by brothers Kevin and Frankie Jonas, sees a batch of celebrity relatives attempt to conceal their identity in a bid to win a cash prize.

Carly broke down in tears after fellow contestant Hugo correctly identified her celebrity relative.

tom hanks niece claim to fame© ABC
Carly opened up about her relationship with Tom after appearing on the show

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