Congressman Charlie Wilson's wheeling and dealing may have changed the world, but most Americans have never heard of him.
Tom first read about this Texas politician in George Crile's best-selling book, Charlie Wilson's War. The story went from bookshelves to the big screen with the help of Mike Nichols, the award-winning director of The Graduate and Closer, and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, the mastermind behind West Wing. "It was about a five or six year process, I guess, to get it from book to Oprah," Tom says.
What made Tom so passionate about this project? "I just love true stories, especially ones that you've never heard before," he says. "When we came across it, we said, 'There's got to be a way to make this fascinating—as fascinating on screen as it is on paper.'"
Though Tom says he and the other producers took some liberties with the story, the facts were left in tact. "It started out with $5 million going to some ragtag rebels," Tom says. "It became hundreds of billions of dollars that went to them...and no one ever knew."