Mr. Gere. At 57, youre a Philadelphia-born, blue-collar boy who not
only grew up to became one of the most enduring movie stars of the last 30
it that long? Whoever wouldve thought?
a guy whos also became known as, well, lets just say it: The 2nd
most famous Buddhist in the world.
assuming were both thinking of who the #1 is.
your root guru himself, the Dalai Lama.
(laughs) Its been an incredible opportunity and Im very humble
about being able to serve. Of the many extraordinary things that have happened
to me in this life Id put that at the top.
sure. But today is about those movies, the latest of which, The Hoax,
is a comedy/drama/caper about the fake, Clifford Irving-authored, Howard Hughes
autobiography that became an early 70s mega-scandal. In it, Irvings
mistress giddily proclaims, My greatest wish is to become an American
movie star. Could the young, unenlightened Richard Gere have related
to that thought at
I was and still am looking for some way to be creative. Thats about
it. And, back then, I was just a working actor, basically, whod been
offered these wonderful parts, but, beyond that, it didnt mean much
to me. In terms of, like, phenomenon. Then, riding in a cab in New York after
getting back from Europe shooting, I think, Yanks, I looked up on 3rd
Avenue and had three movies playing right next to each othermust
have been Blood Brothers, Days of Heaven, and Looking for
Mr. Goodbarand I thought, (with fear and awe) Maybe
this is a different universe for me now. It was.
sure: By 1980 youd been thoroughly fetishized inand
outof Armani suits in American Gigolo and
become a major sex symbol.
didnt have anything to do with me. Not even close. I mean, over the
years Ive had people say, I went out and got the same car, haircut,
and I, sometimes, explain, Actually that wasnt
a lifestyle Im promoting. The only time it was fun, probably,
was making Gigolo: I learned how to wear clothes which I had no idea
about beforeI was just learning which, like, spoon youre
supposed to use.
in the nick of time, because phenom-sized superstardom arrived with An
Officer and a Gentlemen. Then
a notorious string of flops followed
until the lollapalooza, 1990 comeback of Internal Affairs and Pretty
had, like six comebacks. (laughs) Yeah, at that point I figured I better start
taking care of my career. And those two films started me on another few years
of being, I call it, A few movies ahead of the law.
hey, you made gray hair hot long before Anderson Cooper.
[then Disney honcho] Jeff Katzenburg is an old friend and I knew he was thinking,
Maybe we should color your hair. I remember him bringing it up
once and I let it go. Then he brought it up again and I said, Jeffmaybe
its best you dont bring this up again. That was the end
16 years later andwith apologizes to Libby Gelman
Waxlerif you ask me, your best work has been done
this very decade in films like Dr T. and the Women
dont know anyone whos ever worked with Bob [Altman] and not come
away thinking, Godthats why I wanted to do
Martinez said, I look just like you, dont I? And he didhe
looked kind of like the Days of Heaven me. It was freaky.
kept telling me that no one was believing Id actually done the tap dancing.
I said, Well, then who did it? Some chorus boy even came up to
me on the street and said, I know you didnt do it.
now, The Hoax. So. Would you most like to be remembered as a great
Buddhist or movie star?
dont care if Im remembered at all.
that a Buddhist thing? Cause you once said, Actings just
my day job, its not what Im devoted to.
thats true, but its also quite reductive. Because its a
really good day job.
do you want to do it forever?
nothing forever. It doesnt exist.
2015 Brantley Bardin. All Rights Reserved.