Tom Hanks said Jeff Bezos offered him a seat on a spaceflight before William Shatner.
Hanks said he turned the offer down because of the price tag.
“I ain’t paying” $28 million, Hanks said.
Tom Hanks was the featured guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Tuesday, during which he said Jeff Bezos originally approached him about flying to space but he turned it down because of the price.
Opening the show, Kimmel asked the 65-year-old actor whether it was true that the Amazon billionaire approached him about a spaceflight before the actor William Shatner, who was launched into space last month by Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin. Hanks responded: “Well, yeah, provided I pay.”
“And, you know, it cost 28 million bucks or something like that. And I’m doing good, Jimmy. I’m doing good. But I ain’t paying” $28 million, Hanks added.
Hanks continued to dismiss the idea of flying to space and said anyone could replicate the flying experience themselves.
“You know, we could simulate the experience of going to space right now. It’s about a 12-minute flight – is that about it? We could all do it in our seats right here,” Hanks said before mockingly mimicking the in-flight experience.
“I don’t need to spend 28 million bucks to do that. I can do that at home,” he added.
Kimmel later asked Hanks if he would consider boarding a spaceflight if it were free.
“I would do it on occasion just in order to experience the joy – pretending I’m a billionaire,” Hanks said in response.
While Hanks declined Bezos’ invitation, he is thought to be among the list of celebrities who have reserved tickets worth up to $250,000 to be in the first waves of space tourists on Richard Branson’s commercial space liner Virgin Galactic.
Roughly 600 people from 58 countries have reserved tickets. Earlier this year, Insider’s Dominick Reuter reported that other celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Russell Brand, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber have also purchased Virgin Galactic tickets. In February last year, the company rolled out a secondary campaign that pulled in a further 1,000 sign-ups – this time for refundable $1,000 deposits toward the price of a full ticket.
Virgin Galactic has estimated the value of the deposits is $80 million, and former CEO George Whitesides told Insider he expected space tourism to eventually pull in $10 billion to $15 billion a year. The company says it hopes to launch as many as 400 flights a year and carry up to six passengers and two pilots each, departing from and landing at the Spaceport America home base in New Mexico.
At 90, Shatner became last month the oldest person to fly to space.
Speaking with the press following his return, Shatner said: “I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.”
He added: “It’s so much larger than me and life. It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men. … It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.”
Check out Hanks’ full interview below:
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