Richard Gere is certainly not homeless, but he was dressed that way for a recent film, evidently fooling a French tourist visiting New York City. The tourist, not recognizing that the man under the grime and rags was a millionaire actor, was moved to hand over her leftover pizza. The incident touched the 65-year-old actor, who called the tourist an “angel.”
The French tourist, identified as Karine Gambeau, said she did not even realize that she gave her pizza to the famous actor until days later when photos surfaced. Gambeau said Gere said nothing to her to indicate who he was, and that there was no indication that filming was going on at the time. “I gave my doggy bag to a homeless and the homeless is Richard Gere,” she said in disbelief.
Gambeau was visiting Little Italy and accidentally stumbled onto the set of "Time Out of Mind" – a film based on a story by Jeffrey Caine about a New York man who tries to patch things up with his estranged daughter, played by Kyra Sedgwick, while struggling to get his life back on track after circumstances force him into a homeless shelter.
Gere was seen chugging beer on a park bench and digging through trash – evidently getting into the role for the film. The “Pretty Woman” star was virtually unrecognizable. The typically dapper Gere was spotted in the photo to the left eating over a trash can. He was sporting a threadbare jacket and ski hat.
Gambeau passed Gere, stopped him on the street and offered him her leftover chicken barbecue pizza. “Gere tricked every single person who walked past him in the bustling area near Grand Central Terminal during the evening rush hour,” reports the New York Post. Gambeau said Gere simply thanked her and said “God bless you” before accepting the pizza and moving on.
People magazine notes a newspaper salesman was also fooled, saying Gere “looked like a natural homeless guy. He didn't seem like he was acting. He was putting his hand in the trash. He looked like a real homeless guy finding something.”
The incident reminds us of an interesting study done last month by the New York City Rescue Mission. A new campaign called “Make Them Visible” has been put out by the Mission, and in the video, family members, dressed as homeless individuals, are completely ignored by their loved ones: