Monday 5 December 2016

Richard Gere on homelessness, humanity and his acting prowess at Irish screening of new film ‘Time out of Mind’

Published 26/02/2016 | 21:43

He may be a Hollywood icon but Pretty Woman star Richard Gere is hoping to use his acting skills to highlight the issue of homelessness.

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Gere tonight attended the Audi Dublin International Film Festival Arnotts Gala screening of ‘Time out of Mind’, which sees him take on the role of a homeless person.

In the film, his character is recently evicted from his home and thrown into the streets, while also trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

At the screening at Dublin’s Savoy cinema tonight, Gere said he received hugely positive feedback from his portrayal.

“I’ve had a lot of people come up to me after they saw the film that said they would never be able to pass their local homeless guy again without stopping and at least making eye contact and acknowledging him or her as a human being,” he said.

“That’s a huge difference in how this problem is approached.

“Without taking the time to listen and to feel the humanity, the energy can’t come from our side to help and from the other side, the energy won’t be there to accept it.”

Last October, in preparation for the role, Gere posed as a homeless man begging for money and went unnoticed by passers-by in an experiment which went viral.

At the time, he said his eyes were opened to the issue when no one would make eye contact and in total put just over two dollars in his cup.

The 66-year-old, who is kept busy with upcoming projects including Oppenheimer Strategies and The Dinner, said that energy is the most important trait to have as an actor.

“To learn anything you have to have an enormous amount of energy,” he said.

“To make the energy mean something, it has to be personal.

“Someone said once, it’s not of the world to make you interesting, it’s your job to make you interesting.

“The more interesting you are, the more you think and feel and are able to give, the better you’re going to be as a filmmaker and actor and as a human being.”

Gere also appears on tonight’s Late Late Show to talk about his work both on and off the silver screen.

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