“I’ve been Hellenic now for the better part of 32 years,” said award-winning actor Tom Hanks upon receiving the Cecil B DeMille Award at this year’s Golden Globes in Beverly Hills, California, on Sunday.
“It is an honor,” he said of his honorary Greek citizenship, awarded last month.
The US actor and filmmaker has repeatedly expressed his love for Greece, promoting the country far and wide through his social media.
Borrowing from modern Greek surrealist painter and poet Nikos Egonopoulos, Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis described Hanks as being “Great as a Greek”.
“We thank you Tom Hanks, it is an honor for us that you are a Greek citizen. It will be my honor to welcome you to Greece on the first chance,” Theoharis said on the ministry’s Facebook account.
Greece is a “haven… The land, the sky, the water is good for the soul… the best life one can have… a healing place”, said the Academy Award-winning actor, whose love for the country began with his marriage to half-Greek producer Rita Wilson, known particularly for My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
The 63-year-old actor and his wife visit Greece regularly and have a holiday home on the Cycladic island of Antiparos.
Last month, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos granted Hanks honorary Greek citizenship for his charitable work and Philhellenism.
Days after, Hanks sent out his first tweet for the New Year: “Starting 2020 as an Honorary citizen of all of Greece! Kronia pola! (more or less, ‘happy year!’). Hanx” above a photo of an ancient Greek statue.