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'Big' star Elizabeth Perkins recalls Tom Hanks kiss: 'I had such a crush on him'

"He lays one on me about halfway through the movie."
/ Source: TODAY

Back in 1988, Tom Hanks was on his way to being a really big star. And one of the reasons for that ascent was the movie "Big," in which he played a young boy who wakes up one morning and is a fully grown man.

It was an adorable, heartfelt role (with elements that almost certainly would not appear in movies today), and extremely memorable. Especially if you're Elizabeth Perkins, who played his all-grown-up girlfriend in the film.

Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Perkins in "Big."(C)20thCentFox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Perkins, who now stars on "The Moodys," appeared on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" Wednesday, and revealed that the smooch she got from Hanks while shooting the film was actually the best on-screen kiss she's ever had.

"He lays one on me about halfway through the movie," she explained. "I had such a crush on him at the time."

Alas, while Perkins was single at the time, there was no real-life romance spark, she said. "He was with (future wife) Rita Wilson already. They were dating, but hadn't gotten married yet. He was just completely off limits."

Hanks and Perkins today.TODAY

But, she added, "He was adorable."

She also had a bit of fun trivia to share: The role of Josh, which Hanks ultimately played, was originally supposed to be filled by ... Robert De Niro!

Say what?

"It fell apart because he had a scheduling conflict, and then they went to Tom Hanks," she said in a different "WWHL" clip. "It's like a totally different movie in my brain with Robert De Niro."

Hard to imagine anyone else other than Hanks in the key role in "Big," but Perkins says originally Robert De Niro was going to play the part.Aaron Rapoport / Corbis via Getty Images

Perkins noted that De Niro was "more moody." And with him in the role, "It was more of a — a little more of a horror movie. Robert De Niro wandering around the streets of New York. What Tom Hanks brought to it was so much lighter."

As she told TODAY in 2019, "Now I can't imagine anybody else being in that movie other than Tom."

Neither can we!

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