While there were things about directing a movie that Tom says were intimidating, he was never deterred. "I had a vision. I think that's the most important thing is that you have to have something to say," he says. "You have to feel that you have something you want to communicate, and then in both fashion and film you have to work with a team of people to help you do that."
Though the movie clearly isn't based on Tom's life, he says it does have autobiographical elements. "This was my midlife crisis on screen," he says. "When I first read the book, I was 20 years old and I didn't quite get the sort of—well, Christopher Isherwood who wrote the book was a student of [the Hindu philosophical traditions] Vedanta. He spent an enormous amount of time learning to be present, and I didn't pick up on that at all, and I'd come to a point in my life where I left Gucci where maybe I had let the material side of the world pull me a bit away from my spiritual side, which has always been there. And this book is about living in the moment. It's about appreciating the connections we have with other people and reminding ourselves that that's what's important in life. I needed to be reminded of that at this moment."