Richard Gere: I scared people as a homeless man
Richard Gere says people were scared and thought he was "dangerous" when he dressed as a homeless man for 'Time Out of Mind'.
The 66-year-old Hollywood star portrayed down-and-out George for his latest role and was intrigued by the public's reaction, who, when they saw him with a cup and dressed in rags, feared him on location in New York.
He explained: "We shot out on the street with very long lenses and because I was in character, people did not see an actor, they saw this homeless guy. I could see them from two blocks away, making a decision about me that had nothing to do with reality. I'm not an aggressive character in the movie but even the mere fact I was still in a city where everything was moving and had a cup in front of me was enough for people to make a snap decision that I wanted something or I would be dangerous.
"During a scene in Grand Central Station with hidden cameras, no one made eye contact and I got quite bold ... apart from two African-Americans at the end of that day who acknowledged me in passing, they were like, 'Hi, Rich'. It was like, 'Oh, even movie stars have rough days!' "
Gere was so eager to get the film - which was made in documentary style and is a compassionate view of life on the streets - out to audiences he financed it himself because he thinks the message is so important.
He told the Metro newspaper: "The original script was more traditional that I had wanted, so I ended up buying the script and developing it. I knew I had to make a neo-realist movie, so it would feel like a found object. It was about taking everything out that felt theatrical."