TORONTO — A Toronto coffee shop owner says actor Tom Hanks’ reputation as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood extends across the northern border.
After successfully wooing Ryan Gosling last year, Murray launched a similar social media campaign to lure Hanks to Grinder Coffee.
She posted photos of her taking a life-size (and legless) cardboard cutout of Hanks around the city to ride the subway, grab a slice of pizza and get inked at a tattoo parlour.
Murray said an employee was mopping up the closed store on Friday when he heard a knock at the door and saw someone pointing at the cutout. It took a moment for him to register the visitor was Hanks himself.
Hanks chatted up staff and posed for photos with his own likeness alongside a sign reading #TomNeedsGrinder.
Meanwhile, Murray was at home eating dinner when she got a call from work. Assuming there was a problem, she wearily picked up the phone.
When she realized Hanks was on the other end of the line, Murray was so shocked she started cursing.
“I just actually couldn’t believe it was Tom Hanks at the shop,” she said. “I get stunned that my shenanigans actually work.”
Watch: Tom Hanks acts out what Mr. Rogers would say about “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.” Story continues after video.
Murray said Hanks extended his compliments to Murray on the creativity of the campaign, although he wished she used a better photo for the cutout.
“He said, ‘A lot of people ask me for a lot of things, but nobody has done it as clever as you have,’” said Murray. “That was a real feather in my cap.”
Hanks joked that Grinder Coffee should extend its business hours, Murray said. She told him she could be at the shop in 20 minutes, but Hanks said he couldn’t stick around, so she proposed they meet up later for drinks.
As much as she would have liked to meet Hanks in person, Murray said she didn’t take offence when he turned down the offer.
“I’m a one-woman entrepreneur with about four staff. We’re not a big conglomerate,” Murray said, adding that she ran the campaign on a hundred-dollar budget with the help of family and friends.
“For someone to take time out of his busy schedule to actually pay tribute to that ... and actually appreciating all the funny humour behind it means a lot.”