RICHARD GERE’S BIG IS­SUE

THE STAR DIS­CUSSES GO­ING HOME­LESS FOR TIME OUT OF MIND

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE - IF

“I COULD SEE PEO­PLE MAKE A JUDGE­MENT about me,” says Richard Gere about play­ing a home­less man on the streets of New York in Time Out Of Mind. “They’d be think­ing, ‘He’s a home­less. He wants money. He’s prob­a­bly on drugs or drunk. Oh, I feel guilty now.’ I could see peo­ple go­ing through this in­te­rior opera from two blocks away. We all do it.”

Time Out Of Mind — the ti­tle comes from Bob Dylan’s 1997 al­bum — rep­re­sents a labour of love for the ac­tor. It’s a mov­ing char­ac­ter study of Ge­orge (Gere), a sen­si­tive, ar­tic­u­late home­less guy who roams the Big Ap­ple look­ing for shel­ter, bat­tling bu­reau­cracy and try­ing to con­nect with his es­tranged daugh­ter (Jena Malone). The ac­tor has nursed the project for 12 years, in­die-fy­ing it in the process.

“The orig­i­nal script I bought was a much more tra­di­tional thing, with a vil­lain and a court case,” he says. “Those kind of things weren’t in­ter­est­ing to me. I think there is a hu­man qual­ity to ev­ery­one in this.”

With writer-di­rec­tor Oren Mover­man, Gere cre­ated what he de­scribes as a neo-re­al­ist way of work­ing, the ac­tor slip­ping into char­ac­ter on the streets while cam­eras us­ing long lenses un­ob­tru­sively cap­tured the ac­tion from a dis­tance. “When the cam­era is far away, the whole film­mak­ing process is far away,” Gere sug­gests. “It’s much eas­ier to be­have and cre­ate a more del­i­cate sense of re­al­ity.”

Given Gere’s fame, surely passers-by recog­nised him and ru­ined the take for a selfie? “Dur­ing 22 days of shoot­ing, I only had two peo­ple recog­nise me. And they were both in Grand Cen­tral sta­tion!” he says. “It was a bizarre thing. But when I was in char­ac­ter on the streets, the vibe I was giv­ing off gave peo­ple the cue not to pay at­ten­tion to me.”

TIME OUT OF MIND IS OUT ON MARCH 4.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.