Richard Gere Takes on a Gritty Role in New York City and No One Recognizes Him

Photo: courtesy of
Richard Gere - Downtown Magazine
Photo: courtesy of

Richard Gere hit the streets of New York this week, but not in the way that you’d expect. The Golden Globe winner, once named the “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine, just wrapped up shooting a far less glamorous role. The actor went undercover in New York as a homeless man while filming his latest movie, Time Out of Mind. The film, which opened in select theaters in September, tells the story of a man struggling with homelessness while also trying to reconcile his relationship with his estranged daughter. Gere’s acting skills were so convincing that nobody even recognized him.

“So many times we forget how blessed we are. We should not take that for granted,” he wrote on his Facebook page about the humbling experience.

This is not the celebrated actor’s first foray into social activism. As a longtime student of Zen Buddhism, Gere co-founded the Tibet House and is an active supporter of the Tibetan Independence Moment. Because of his work with this movement, he is permanently banned from entering the People’s Republic of China. He also campaigns for AIDS awareness and Survival International, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights and land of tribal peoples around the world. It is always refreshing to see actors and artists working for such worthy causes.

-by Rachel Veroff