When fans think about Richard Gere, they often think about his portrayal of Julian, a Los Angeles male escort who finds himself on the target of law for a murder he didn’t commit in A or his engrossing performance in wherein his character Zack Mayo aspires to become an aviator.
In the 80s only a few actors were more sought-after than Gere, who was also viewed as a favorite for genteel roles. However, by the late 80s, he found himself on the fringes, leading to him crawling a bit to get scripts, which meant accepting movies that he wasn’t totally convinced with.
The two movies he ended up doing, despite initial reluctance, became classics in their own rights.
starred opposite Andy Garcia in the 1990 crime thriller In this movie, he flipped the switch from his penchant for portraying genteel characters and picked up the role of Dennis Peck, a corrupt policeman in the Los Angeles Police Department, who has carefully managed to build a reputation of boasting a spotless career despite being involved in nefarious activities.
Going against the trend of his past successful roles was certainly a risk for Gere, but impressed critics and over time established itself as a classic crime thriller. When the script was tabled in front of the 80s superstar, he wasn’t even sure about the idea but had little option at the time. He revealed (via ):
“At the point of Pretty Woman (1990), I had been kind of out of things for a while. I consciously [had] just said, “Going off to do other things” and I f-cked up my career to the point where [people weren’t saying], “Well, let’s get Gere to do that”. I had to crawl a little bit to get scripts. Doing Internal Affairs (1990), for instance, was a very difficult decision for me to make because, potentially, that could have been such a piece of sh*t.”
The movie’s complex theme left a lasting impression on many and it even turned out to be one of Gere’s favorite movies. Interestingly, the 74-year-old was also unsure about
While was a critical success, , which was released a few months later, not only impressed critics but also smashed numerous box office records in its run toward a staggering worldwide collection of $463.4 million worldwide.
Gere portrayed the career-defining role of Edward Lewis, who hires Vivian (), a pr-stitute, for a few social events, but later falls in love with her. It’s tough to imagine any other actors portraying these iconic characters, but at one point, both could’ve ended up being not part of the quintessential rom-com – for different reasons.
he said (via ). Still, The Walt Disney Studios chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was Gere’s friend, managed to rope in the actor.
Further, as per , star Meg Ryan was director Garry Marshall’s early top pick for the role, but she passed on the opportunity. Roberts was far from the first choice as she wasn’t an established star at that time. However, everything changed after that movie for both Gere and Roberts.