"I'm a lucky man," Tom says. "[Rita] could have done better. But, you know, every now and again, you win the lottery. That's why you should buy those tickets! You know what I'm saying?"
"You just look at [the book] and say, 'There's something magnificent here,'" he says. "Chris Van Allsburg really has painted a masterpiece, as well as told the perfect story. … It's a very personal story for you or whoever you're reading it to—about what really goes on 'up there.'"
Among other things, Tom confirmed that he loves watching Jeopardy!, he can juggle, he's related to Abraham Lincoln—and he once shoplifted!
"Oh hey, now, come on," Tom says about shoplifting as a kid. "First of the all, I don't know what you're talking about! Secondly, let's say I did. And let's say the best thing that happened was a shopkeeper said, 'I know what you're up to, and it ain't right.' And after that I never did it again!"
"We lived in different places, my mom and my dad. So my mom kept all of this stuff in the trunk of her car which we never knew about until years later, because every Christmas morning, there it was that Santa brought—by way of the trunk of my mom's car," Tom explains. "My dad did this thing that was so great. One year, I got a western outfit. It said on the card, 'To Tom from Hoss.' Hoss from Bonanza. I was convinced that at the end of Bonanza that week, Hoss would look in the camera and say, 'I just want to say to my buddy out there, Tom, I hope you like this.' When it was over, and he didn't do it, I rationalized it anyway. 'Well, he probably gave a lot of kids presents and he doesn't have time to single it out for me.' All through the show there's Hoss running around and [I'm saying], 'Gosh, he's such a great guy. He brought me a present for Christmas.' That was cool of my dad."
Nelacey also suffers from the same disease. Now at the age of 20, he can barely see. But his disability hasn't prevented him from living his life to the fullest! This summer in Athens, Greece, Nelacey competed in the Paralympics and set a new U.S. record in track.
Back home in Oregon, Darren was cheering on his new hero. He began to believe that anything is possible.
"He's like a big brother," Darren says. "I guess you could say he's a hero, too."
Darren: I just want to say thank you for just helping me and just giving me faith—faith to believe in myself.
Nelacey: Hey, man, I just want to let you know, I mean, I'm really honored to have you look up to me as a role model and a hero. But I also want to let you know that not only am I an inspiration to you, but you're an inspiration to me, as well.
With only days left before school started, Mary literally took a stand for her education. Mary made her way to Wall Street armed with her grades and test scores. Mary stood right across from the financial capital of the world, the New York Stock Exchange, with a sign that read, "Hello, I'm Mary. I'm brilliant. Columbia University agrees. All I need is a loan. Name your interest rate."
She stood on the street for eight hours straight.
Mary says she didn't want to "miss a golden opportunity if it happened to walk by. The only thing I feared was losing my dream. I needed somebody, anybody, a stranger to tell me to believe in me. I was ready to give up."
Not even six weeks from the day they met, they've received donations from all over the world and raised more than $40,000. Today, Mary is halfway through her freshman year at Barnard College, a women's college at Columbia University.
"I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you so very much," Mary tells Judith. "I know those words, they don't possibly express the depth of my gratitude. But thank you so much. You saved my dream, my life, my soul. I have a future now. Whatever I become, I'll have you to thank for it. Thank you so much."
Bob says he wanted to make the movie look like the oil paintings in the book. To do so, Tom had 194 tiny plastic jewels glued all over his body. When he acted out his scenes against a blue screen, infrared cameras guided by the jewels captured his every move. Animators then used the data to create a computer-generated shell and wrapped digital "skin" around that shell to create the five different characters Tom plays in the movie.
Tom: At one point, Bob said, "I think you should play everybody in this movie. I think you should even play all the elves." I said, "Bob, I can't."
Bob: He's my favorite actor. I'll do everything with this guy!