(CNN) — Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have a special reason to celebrate this week: They are both now officially Greek citizens.
In an image published on social media by the country’s prime minister, the two proudly display their new passports.
The couple and their children became honorary Greek citizens last year, after officials highlighted Hanks’ role in helping raise awareness of the 2018 fires that devastated areas near Athens and claimed the lives of more than 100 people. .
“Tom Hanks is a person who showed real interest in the people who suffered the Mati fire and promoted this issue in the world media,” Greek Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos told CNN in a statement in December.
Wilson, who is partly Greek, and Hanks, a Greek Orthodox convert, have often been seen spending their holidays in Greece, where they also own property on the island of Antiparos.
The two have produced several films based on the Greek community and never shy away from sharing their admiration for the country and its people.
“I’ve been a Hellenic now for about 32 years,” Hanks told reporters at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards earlier this year. “Greece is a paradise … I have been all over the world, I have been to the most beautiful places in the world, none of them surpasses Greece.”
“The earth, the sky, the water, is good for the soul, it is a place of healing,” Hanks said.