Family more important than films: Gere

By HT

Mumbai, March 21 -- Richard Gere is set to complete 40 years in cinema this year (his first film was Report To The Commissioner; 1975). Films such as American Gigolo (1980), Pretty Woman (1990) and Runaway Bride (1999), among others, comprise his body of work.

But for the Hollywood actor, family always comes first. He spoke to us over the phone about his 14-year-old son, his connection with India, and more.

You have been visiting India since 1978.

I remember the Delhi airport being so small in the initial years. There were no proper roads, and it used to take me long to reach Himachal Pradesh. Though there are certain villages that are away from commercialisation even today, a major part of India is very western now.

Do you have any Bollywood friends?

I met a lot of people from Bollywood while I was in India a few years ago for my AIDS awareness programme. I find them talented and warm. People like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shilpa Shetty are helpful and generous.

Do you take approval of your family when you sign a film?

My film decisions are mostly mine, but I'm careful about not being away from my son, Homer James Jigme Gere, for very long. If I have to be away for long, I talk to him about it, and if he has a problem, I don't take up the project. Family is more important than films.

Pretty Woman (1990) will be completing 25 years this year.

A few days ago, the film's team met up and we were reminiscing about the film. We had a great time shooting for it. People think these are simple films to make, but they are not. You have to create a sense of delight in such movies.