Hanna R. Hall is best known for her role as young Jenny Curran in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, but her acting career has continued since then. Her promising debut in the Tom Hanks-led drama has led to a quiet list of TV and movie credits over the decades. Now, 28 years after that first on-screen appearance, it is a good time to check in on Hanna Hall’s achievements.
Her scenes alongside Michael Conner Humphreys, who played a young Forrest Gump, are integral to the plot of the Best Picture winner. It is in these scenes that Forrest falls for Jenny, an unrequited love that lasts a lifetime and results in Forrest and Jenny having a son together. Hall also provided the movie with one of its most iconic quotes —”Run, Forrest! Run!” — which Jenny shouts when Forrest is being chased by a group of bullies. Hall’s potential as an actor was evident even at this early stage and she had many people invested in where her career might go next.
Hall’s first screen role after Forrest Gump was playing one of a set of abandoned siblings in the made-for-TV movie Homecoming. Then in 1999, after originally screen testing for the role of Lux Lisbon, she was instead cast as Cecilia Lisbon in the adaptation of The Virgin Suicides directed by Sofia Coppola. The film received generally positive reviews and was praised for its performances by its young cast. For the next several years, Hall picked up roles across various independent short films, including a guest appearance in the 2006 drama Standoff.
The next big role came when Hall played Judith Myers in Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween remake. Judith is the older sister of the infamous Michael Myers; however, in Zombie’s version, Judith is no longer Michael’s first kill. This role gave Hall a chance to show her acting range as the classic slasher victim, contributing a good performance to the Halloween collection of sequels and remakes.
Later, Hall was cast in the 2009 comedy, American Cowslip, starring alongside Val Kilmer. Her most recent roles have included guest appearances in the eighth season of Criminal Minds, the period drama Masters of Sex, and in horror television series spinoff of The Purge. Hanna Hall may not be starring in many major blockbusters any time soon, but all of her understated and confident performances since Forrest Gump have shown her to be a multifaceted actor whose career continues to develop in interesting ways.
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