Richard Gere's fighting spirit causes Hollywood film to be put on pause
Published 02/09/2010 | 10:01
Richard Gere has dislocated his shoulder filming a fight scene with the British hard-man actor Tamer Hassan, causing production to be put on hold for six weeks.
Actors d'un certain âge are often reluctant to give up doing their own stunt work because it is bound up with a certain machismo in the film industry.
Still, Richard Gere's insistence on not calling in a stand-in to perform a fight scene for him in The Double has resulted in production of the thriller being shut down for six weeks as he recovers from a shoulder injury.
Tamer Hassan, the British actor, with whom Gere had to brawl in the scene, says that his illustrious co-star, who turned 61 this week, should, however, be given top marks for his pluck.
"We had been rehearsing for four weeks every night and Richard was great, but he had a problem with his shoulder," says Hassan, who is 19 years Gere's junior.
"I said, 'Look, Richard, just slip in where you can.' But, oh, no, not Richard, he went: 'I want to do it.' He did it and dislocated his shoulder."
Hassan, who made the headlines earlier this year when he became involved in a real-life fight with his fellow hard-man actor Vinnie Jones, says that, even now, Gere is not prepared to call in the services of a stunt man.
"So the production has closed down for six weeks because of Richard's shoulder and I just got told on Monday that he is going to come back and do it himself again," he adds. "So fair play to him, and he looks as beautiful as he always did."
Most actors at least like to give the impression that they do their own stunts. A notable exception is Sir Roger Moore, who, refreshingly, made no bones about sitting out his action sequences in the James Bond films.
When his stunt double Martin Grace died earlier this year, Sir Roger, 82, said: "He was the bravest man I've ever known."