How Tom Hanks Feels About Band Of Brothers' Impact 20 Years Later

Tom Hanks interview screenshot

Band of Brothers was a huge critical and commercial achievement when it debuted back in 2001. The powerful story of the “Easy” Company’s service during World War II won numerous awards and cemented HBO’s status as a television powerhouse. It’s been 20 years since the series first premiered, but it continues to resonate with viewers. Why the staying power? Band of Brothers co-creator Tom Hanks has an idea.

Two-time Academy Award winner (and American national treasure) Tom Hanks recently discussed the 20th anniversary of Band of Brothers. While many movies and shows have chronicled the horrors of war, viewers keep coming back to the seminal HBO miniseries. What about Band of Brothers has been so powerful to stand the test of time over two decades already? Tom Hanks explained to Deadline:

The key word of the title is Brothers. I think the resonance of the series comes from the sense of ‘Us,’ that we are all in this together and the primary, instinctive duty is to look after our brothers. A unit – like Easy Company – stands alone, together.

Band of Brothers originally premiered the same week as the 9/11 attacks. Now, in the era of COVID when the maxim “we’re all in this together” has become a rallying cry, Tom Hanks’ statement rings true. The story of the Easy Company is a stunning reminder of the power of human connection in tough times, mirroring the trials of 9/11 and COVID. Tom Hanks elaborated on the continued importance of the Band of Brothers story:

If the series fails to show that the human condition then is the exact same now as then, we’ve failed the mission. Boys then went off to save the world — in vast numbers — with no idea of when the war would end. Ed Shames — and every man of Easy Company — volunteered for the work. Time calls for such volunteers, such heroes, every few weeks, in every era. With just one decision, each of us has heroism inside us.

In addition to telling a powerful story, Band of Brothers was also elevated by a plethora of outstanding acting performances. The ensemble cast included Damian Lewis (Homeland), Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, Venom), Donnie Wahlberg (Blue Bloods), and Ron Livingston (The Conjuring). Lewis and Livingston were both nominated for Golden Globe awards, and the overall series won seven of its twenty Emmy nominations.

Now, twenty years after the premiere, you can revisit the riveting drama of Band of Brothers on HBO Max. As for Tom Hanks, he will next appear in the sci-fi thriller Finch. For some small screen viewing options coming to television sooner rather than later, be sure to check out our 2021 fall TV premiere schedule.

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.