The buzzword of the evening had to be ”nice.” When the American Film Institute presented Tom Hanks with a Life Achievement Award, everyone at the June 12 event at L.A.’s Kodak Theatre agreed that the star of Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, and Saving Private Ryan is Mr. Affable. On the red carpet, Ryan costar Barry Pepper dubbed Hanks ”a classy individual who is always there for you.” Sharon Stone thanked the actor for portraying a gay man dying of AIDS in Philadelphia. And when Steve Martin took to the stage to tease his old pal, the worst he could say was that the award should be renamed the ”mid-life” achievement award. (Hanks, 45, agreed: ”I’m far too young! There’s been an anomaly in the vote-taking process and I’m sure that heads are going to roll at the AFI.”). But Bosom Buddies costar Peter Scolari had a different take. ”He’s fierce — if Tommy were an animal, he’d be a wolverine. He protects his own.” Now that’s nice.