Hollywood heartthrob Richard Gere, 65, will complete 40 years in the industry this year (his first film, Report To The Commissioner, released in 1975). But for the Hollywood actor, family always comes first. He spoke to us over the phone and opened up about his 14-year-old son, Homer James Jigme Gere, his connection with India, and more.
* Do you take approval from your family when you sign a film?
My film decisions are mostly mine, but I’m very careful about not being away from my son, Homer James Jigme Gere, for very long. So, if I have to be away for long I talk to him about it, and if there is a problem, I don’t take up the project. And I have done that. Your family is more important than anything.
* You have been visiting India since 1978. How has the country changed for you over the years?
I remember the Delhi airport being so small and primitive in the initial years. There were hardly any proper roads and I would take a long time to reach Himachal Pradesh. Although there are certain villages even today that are away from commercialisation, the major part of India is very international.
* Do you have friends in Bollywood?
I have met a lot of people from Bollywood while I was in India for my AIDS awareness programme. I find them extremely talented and open. People such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shilpa Shetty are very helpful and generous.