Tom Hanks has "great respect" for Julia Roberts.
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."