The actor-turned-director was delighted when the `Pretty Woman` actress agreed to star in his latest film `Larry Crowne` - which follows a struggling man who falls for a public-speaking teacher - because he is such a big fan of her work.
He said: "I really like her and have great respect for her and I called her up and asked if she would be interested in playing the part and if she could have faith in me as a director. Fortunately she said yes."
Tom has been working on `Larry Crowne` for three years and admits it is much harder being a director than an actor.
He explained: "Acting is like a vacation compared with the workload a director has.
"Also, the skill sets are totally different because an actor really only has to show people what he`s thinking while a director has to start having meetings eight months before the first day of shooting and continues having meetings nine months after it`s all over and you`re constantly explaining, begging, asking.
"It`s like an actor is a dog running through a park while a director is a dog trying to herd 6,000 sheep over Cattleman`s Pass. It`s a lot of work."