Richard Gere Responds to Viral Facebook Post About Him Portraying a Homeless Man to Raise Awareness

Richard Gere
Richard Gere responds to the viral homeless post -- read his real post here  Venturelli/Getty Images

Richard Gere is not active on social media, but on Monday, Oct. 26, the actor borrowed Time Out of Mind costar Jena Malone’s Facebook account to communicate with the world. Gere shared a post via the actress’ page to address a photo of himself portraying a homeless man from the film that went viral. The photo was originally posted by a fan pretending to be Gere on Facebook earlier this month who claimed that after going undercover, Gere handed out money to the homeless.

"Hi, Richard Gere here," the 66-year-old actor wrote on his costar’s page. "I was completely surprised to find that last week someone posted a photo of me on a Facebook fan page as a homeless man on the streets of New York that drew 1.6 million likes and over a half-a-million shares. While the story that accompanied the photograph was somewhat fictional (especially the $100 hand-outs), it seemed to have touched something important in people," he continued. "I'd like to find out what that is and what we can do together to make something good and meaningful happen for our homeless brothers and sisters."

Hi, Richard Gere here. I was completely surprised to find that last week someone posted a photo of me on a Facebook fan…

Posted by Jena Malone on Monday, October 26, 2015

Gere went on to explain he will be holding a Q&A via Malone’s Facebook page on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET, along with Time Out of Mind director Oren Moverman.

“I’d like you to join me for a conversation on the issue of homelessness and how it impacts your lives…we’re excited to see what happens,” the social media newbie concluded.

Time Out of Mind was released last month and follows Gere’s character, the homeless and mentally ill George, who bonds with a new friend, played by Ben Vereen, in an attempt to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter, portrayed by Malone. To capture the scene of Gere panhandling in New York City, Moverman staged the camera in a nearby Starbucks because he was nervous the award-winning actor would be recognized instantly.

“We thought if we got two minutes before someone recognized him, we’d be lucky,” Moverman said in a recent interview, per the New York Daily News. “His clothes were sending a message, but if you looked in his eyes, it was Richard Gere. But nobody would look at him.”

A French tourist even offered Gere her pizza after walking by him on the street. "She was a complete stranger who just happened to see him acting," Gere's publicist told the Today show about the unassuming woman. "It's a sweet story."

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