RICHARD GERE: AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW AND THE MOVIES THAT IMPROVED HIM OVER TIME (LIKE WINE, BUT IN SIX PHASES)

SaraSagratiby Sara Sagrati

Richard Gere is one of those men who get better with age. Call it popular wisdom, or whatever, but it’s true. I personally have never been under his spell, maybe because Richard Gere, to me, is the goofball in American Gigolo, although he totally drove my fellow teens crazy. But I have to admit that popular wisdom was right, Richard Gere totally got better with age. Just think of him gracefully dancing and singing in Chicago, or playing a loving husband in Sommersby. And today, as the protagonist of Arbitrage, a refined post-financial crisis thriller, where he plays an ambiguous businessman, with completely white hair and a barely perceptible tiny face lift that make him peculiarly charming.

Our Marta Perego met him in Rome at the press junket for Arbitrage, and asked him a very “choozed” question. That is: to someone like him who made a lot of choices in his life, he choose to become a vegetarian, a Buddhist (he’s the Dalai Lama’s world ambassador), to purchase  with his beautiful wife Carey Lowell a cottage in Bedford and transform it into a Relais e Chateu where you can do yoga and eat organic food (and where even Gere lives for the majority of the year)… to someone like him, what are choices worth? And how do you make the right choice? And he answered her, as handsome, calm, and peaceful as ever.

And now, here are the movies to choose to verify how Richard Gere’s aging improved him over the six phases of his career.

American Gigolo, aka Richard Gere phase 1. Young and good looking, he makes a living dedicating his time even to the time-wasters. And the world falls in love with him. The myth of the man who’s not actually out of your league is born. Just keep your pockets handy!

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Pretty Woman, aka Richard Gere phase 2. Ten years later the gigolo hires an escort who doesn’t kiss you on the lips, and the whole world falls in love with her. The myth of Julia Robert is born, and Gere proves that aging well also means doing it in style, stepping down in favor of a lady.

Chicago, aka Richard Gere phase 3. Although he started his career dancing and singing, he had to wait until 2002 to show it on the big screen. The film stocks up on Academy Awards, but the audience isn’t that excited. But go watch the ventriloquist number once again, that was his call.

Hachiko, aka Richard Gere phase 4. Already completely white-haired, Gere accepts the hardest challenge for an actor: working with a dog. Great maturity or pure insanity? Indeed, the dog won, but it was a one-sided war.

I’m not there, aka Richard Gere phase 5. Maturity also means being humble enough to step aside. In this movie where Bob Dylan is played by 5 actors, one of which is our hero, this time the war is fair, and he gets even, with success. Although Cate Blanchett shines a bit more…

Arbitrage, aka Richard Gere phase 6. The gradual comeback to the big screen as a protagonist is a victory in this well-directed and well-played noir thriller. Good entertainment that apes the spectacular cinema from the 70s where Gere was groomed. And the world falls in love with him all over again.