It may be hard to believe, but Tom's oldest son Colin, also an actor, is about to turn 30. Tom says he's realistic with his kids about following him to Hollywood. "I say, 'If you love it, it's your life. Pursue it,'" he says. "I mean, if you love laying brick or designing plumbing systems, do that. But if you want to do the hard work, if you want to go out there and enjoy the entire process—getting the job, not getting the job, having the job, doing the job—man, it's the greatest life in the world."
Tom was drawn to acting for a simple reason. "It was fun—that's it," he says. "It was just more fun than I could ever possibly imagine and it still is."
When he was coming up, Tom says, his two favorite actors were Jason Robards and Robert Duvall. One of his favorite movie scenes features Robert in a Clint Eastwood Western called Hang 'Em High. "I just thought, I've never seen anything remotely like that before," he says.
Tom's never worked with Robert, but he did work with Jason in the film Philadelphia. "That was like, 'Pinch me,'" Tom says.