Rita Wilson joined Zane Lowe for Apple Music’s new interview series, “Songs For Life”, in which stars from all walks of life discuss the music that proved to be the soundtrack for their lives, singling out those songs that they’ve connected to memories of milestone moments, both joyous and difficult.
Wilson recalled that she was starring in Larry David’s “Fish in the Dark” on Broadway in 2015 when she received a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. “And I had initially been misdiagnosed, and my gut instinct was saying, I don’t know, it doesn’t feel right.”
She wound up getting a second opinion, resulting in “a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction,” admitting that “when you go through something like that, it’s scary. It’s really, really, really scary. And make no mistake, you don’t know what your prognosis is going to be. Your doctors tell you certain things, you hope it’s going to be good, but you don’t really know.”
She also recalled it being “a lonely time” for her, as she “had a son who was struggling with substance abuse” while husband Tom Hanks was shooting a movie in Europe. “And I really got to some thinking about a lot of things. Very thankful for my girlfriends and my friends who were around during that time. I mean, make no mistake, Tom was with me too, but he couldn’t do anything about it. He was in the middle of making a movie as well.”
In another portion of the interview, Wilson opened up about her marriage, discussing how they’d both come out of “substantial longterm relationships” when they got together. “So we kind of knew what we didn’t want and also what we wanted.”
She also pointed out that, contrary to what’s written in the tabloids, “there are so many really solid marriages in Hollywood, but people don’t tend to write about those because what’s the story there? Kyra Sedgewick and Kevin Bacon had been married for 30 something years, and Denzel and Pauletta [Washington], and Ron and Cheryl Howard,” she said.
“I think we have shared values in that way,” she said of Hanks. “And we want to be married to each other, so we have an enormous amount of respect and try to be as loving as we possibly can to each other.”
If there’s a secret to the longevity of her marriage, she explained, it’s probably that “Tom and I don’t really want to change each other. I remember standing on a corner in New York when we were dating, and he was holding my hand, we were getting ready to cross the street, and he said, ‘Just want you to know that you don’t have to change anything about who you are or what you do to be with me.’ And no one had ever said that to me before. And it was literally like a physical wave of emotion, feeling, warmth, energy, went through my body. And I think if you’re lucky enough to have that and kind of tend to it, then it can grow into something really beautiful.”