Richard Gere: 'I haven't decided whether I'll be an actor'
He's 66 and a prolific Hollywood star, but Richard Gere admits he still hasn't decided "whether I'm going to be an actor or not".
Richard first hit headlines with his role in 1980 movie American Gigolo and has since starred in some iconic films such as Pretty Woman, Primal Fear and Chicago. His latest movie Time Out of Mind tackles the issue of homelessness, but despite the film marking his 57th acting offering, Richard still doesn't consider himself an actor.
"I was, and I still am, very shy. I think most actors start because they have an inability to fully express themselves. I think that’s the first impulse that makes us want to play a character and get on stage - it’s a vehicle to express yourself," he told Britain's Big Issue magazine. "I think most actors are very shy. I was never the kid who always got up on the table to perform. I think I’ve enjoyed acting but in some ways… in fact, I don’t think I’ve decided yet whether I’m going to be an actor. Honestly!"
Despite his back catalogue, Richard has always done his best to maintain a relatively private life. This is because he didn't want to become sucked into the mad world that is Hollywood, he explained.
"I was always looking for something else. I was looking for that sense of home we just talked about," he said. "Acting’s a job, a great job, and I’ve learned an enormous amount in focusing energy on that job. It’s a very intense experience, making a movie, it monopolises your time, your energy, your creativity, your soul, your everything. Everyone around you agrees that we all bring our best selves to the experience.
"Then when it’s over you go back to the real world and its problems, and no one is their best selves any more. So there certainly is a drug-like aspect that you’re drawn to because of where it takes you. But while I take the creativity side of acting seriously, I’ve never taken the business seriously at all."
- Cover Media