Rita Wilson Told Tom Hanks She Wants Her Funeral to Be a 'Party,' Which I Think Is Nice

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Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks have recovered from their bout of covid-19, but considering the virus’s global death count, one can imagine even a mild case would force a person to reckon with their own mortality. Even before that, though, Wilson battled breast cancer, which led to a morbid, but understandable conversation she had with Hanks.


According to Just Jared, Wilson appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Tuesday, and though the episode was filmed before Wilson and Hanks went to Australia and contracted the virus, coincidentally she and Clarkson chatted about death. Wilson brought up her recent track, “Throw Me a Party,” which she wrote after her cancer diagnosis.

WILSON: I found out that I had breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy, and I’m a survivor sitting here today talking to you. It was so interesting because when you’re going through something like that and you really don’t know what it’s going to be like and how it’s going to turn out, and you don’t know if you’re going to be sitting here...I wanted to have these very serious discussions with my husband. And I said to him, ‘Look, if something happens and I should go before you, then I just want you to know there’s a couple of things that I want. One is that I want you to be super sad for a really long time.

CLARKSON: Like, I will haunt you...

WILSON: Exactly, like, I will haunt you. And then, the second thing was that I wanted a party. I wanted to have a celebration, and I wanted to have a lot of singing and dancing and people telling stories, and to feel like that was being celebrated. And so the song came out of that.

It feels weird thinking about funerals at a moment where so many people are denied holding them for their loved ones, but generally, I think the idea of a “party” as a funeral is nice. Death doesn’t really feel like an occasion for celebration, but there is something lovely about celebrating someone’s life instead of mourning the end of it, plus it’s the last time anyone gets to throw a party for you.

Anyway, thankfully both Wilson and Hanks are doing fine, so no haunting or death parties necessary. [Just Jared]

Here is a nice Heath Ledger story: according to People, Ledger refused to do the opening at the 2007 Academy Awards because producers wanted to stick in a homophobic joke about Brokeback Mountain.


As Brokeback co-star Jake Gyllenhaal told Another Man magazine recently, per People:

“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it, Gyllenhaal, 39, recalled.

“And Heath refused,” he explained. “I was sort of at the time, ‘Oh, okay… whatever.’ I’m always like, ‘It’s all in good fun.’ And Heath said, ‘It’s not a joke to me – I don’t want to make any jokes about it.’ ”

The actor added, “That’s the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, ‘No. This is about love. Like, that’s it, man. Like, no.’ ”


Heath :( [People]

  • Guess Wendy Williams and Nene Leakes are having problems? [Bossip]
  • Not sure why Melissa Etheridge is weighing in on Brad and Jen, but, fine. [E! Online]
  • Perhaps this is just a product of marathoning Scrubs in quarantine, but I very much enjoy this story about Donald Faison giving Jeff Zucker a nougie. [Page Six]
  • Well, sure. [Page Six]
  • R. Kelly’s staying in prison. [Variety]


chocolate covered raisons d'être

My maternal grandfather died when I was 19. Only positive male influence in my life up till then. So it hit me hard. His funeral was a traditional affair at a funeral home. I remember all the people who showed up, all the old-timers from the neighborhood who started telling great stories that I had never heard. The more they talked, the more laughter there was. Magically, liquor appeared. What started as a funeral ended as a party. That’s just the way Gramps woulda wanted it.