It’s hard out there trying to drum up press for your independent movies, and one of our favorite ways to generate buzz is by promoting epic stories of the star’s brave method acting. Even big budget films do it, and whether it’s Jared Leto mailing his costars rats or Ben Foster eating handfuls of dirt, there are few things funnier to us than pampered actors trying to prove their grit by overdoing make-believe.
Today’s True Hero Of Method Acting is Richard Gere, who plays a homeless man estranged from his daughter in Oren Moverman’s Time Out Of Mind. As Gere told reporters recently at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, they bravely shot parts of the film guerrilla-style, the most xxxtreme form of pretending because the bystanders don’t even know it’s pretend.
“We shot for 45 minutes. No one paid me any attention. Some people put some money into my cup. They did not make eye contact. I think I made about two and a half dollars. I was very unsuccessful as a bum on the street.”
Forty-five minutes?! That is so, so brave. I mean, we’re talking Jennifer-Aniston-Not-Wearing-Make-Up levels of brave. Also, it sounds like he isn’t counting the French lady who tried to give him pizza. Two and a half dollars and a slice of pizza in 45 minutes sounds like a pretty successful hobo sesh if you ask me.
The experience, he added, was a powerful one.
I’m sure it was. Forty-five minutes as a real homeless? That had to have left a lifelong impression.
“It was an incredibly profound experience. In my life there are a lot of expectations. I’m a movie star coming here. The same guy on a street corner with a coffee cup, no one pays any attention to,” he continued. “If anything, the guy on the street corner is probably closer to who I really am than the movie star in a tuxedo on a red carpet.” (the Hollywood Reporter)
Whoa, that’s deep, man. One minute he’s internationally recognized, constantly celebrated actor Richard Gere, getting invited to the Czech Republic to accept made-up awards. But stick some fake dirt on his face and give him some fingerless gloves and suddenly everyone’s avoiding him. It really makes you think. Like, what if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home.