We’ve known this for some time, but today Cameron Crowe explained why Tom Hanks turned down the starring role in Jerry Maguire, even though the role was written with him in mind. Crowe went on The Dan Patrick Show to explain why Hanks turned down the role and wound up getting Tom Cruise instead. Which, let’s be honest, is maybe one of the best backup plans ever.

Back in January, Crowe, who wrote and directed Jerry Maguire, told Deadline the basics of the same thing he told Patrick on Friday. Crowe wanted Hanks, not Cruise, to play Jerry Maguire, but he just didn’t see his wish come true.

While we already knew Tom Hanks was the intended Tom to play the part of, Crowe went into more detail with Patrick about why it didn’t happen.

“It was originally written with Tom Hanks in mind,” Crowe said. “He read the script and I had this wonderful conversation with Tom Hanks and people were waiting in the next room for the answer”

“And Tom Hanks was so complimentary and so great and said you know I’d love to do this but I’m doing ‘That Thing You Do,’ I should be doing that instead of this movie but good luck,” Crowe added. “I was so high on the Tom Hanks personality charisma that I walked into the next room and I was like I just had the greatest conversation with Tom Hanks and they said is he in or out? And I said no he’s not doing it but he’s so great!”

Well I guess Hanks is really good about making you feel happy about bad news then?

Crowe then went on to tell the story of how Cruise landed the part instead.

“I frankly always had Tom Cruise in my mind in case Tom Hanks fell out, which was always going to be a possibility,” Crowe told Patrick. “And we sent it to Tom (Cruise) and Tom instantly read it and called and said ‘you know I’m a sports guy, I love this, how about I fly to you and read it for you and you tell me if I’m right for it.'”

“Which was amazing,” Crowe added. “So he’s basically saying I’ll audition the part for you. You tell me if you want to hire me. So from that moment on he was connected.”

While Hanks may have been better in Crowe’s mind before the filming began, Cruise wasn’t so bad after all.

The second Tom for the part was later nominated for and won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Cruise also won the Satellite Award for Best Actor while receiving nominations from the Academy Awards and Screen Actors Guild for Best Actor.

Crowe said a lot of other interesting things about the casting of the movie and more in his full interview, which you can watch here:

[The Dan Patrick Show]

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.