Please, Someone, Cast Him In A Science Fiction Movie

But that was a moment where there are a lot of auditions and trying to put people together to make that cast work — but when he asked me to make the movie, I realized that my world was going in that direction of making movies. But we’ll have to wait to see him in a galaxy far, far away, because right now he’s promoting “Arbitrage,” out Friday, in which he stars as Robert Miller, an über-wealthy hedge-fund executive frantically trying to keep the pieces of his complicated life from falling apart. He’s trying to make everything right while not going to jail, which seems reasonable. I like the movie. And you’re not exaggerating.

No! I lived with that! And I’m proud of it. It’s early in the film, but we don’t see that coming. The only vaguely sci-fi thing I did was “Mothman Prophecies.” Not a terrible movie. We were carried away by the story, watching it.

So Michael Fassbender does a movie like “Shame” and that leads to something like “Prometheus.” I feel like you never went down the sci-fi or action-movie role. There’s some things in that that are … This is a movie with an independent distributor. A studio picture. But I’m really proud of that movie. The things he does are human.

I liked it because when I first read the script it resonated with Bernie Madoff and Ted Kennedy … But sci-fi? Yes. Morgan …

Yeah. and said, “Let’s make this movie.” It’s “Days of Heaven.” That, to me — it didn’t have anything to do with anyone else; it had to do with me. Unfortunately, the companies that make movies don’t make these anymore. This person doesn’t work.

Somebody, please cast Richard Gere in a science-fiction movie! Sure, it’s hardly the first genre that comes to mind when you think of the suave, intellectual star of “Pretty Woman” and “An Officer and a Gentleman,” but he says he’s game. But he made one horrible decision. Lasse Hallström is, too. The best people working in Washington came through his office. The Jamie Dimons of the world are more relevant. It’s the hubris of, “I can’t lose. 7)

He does some terrible things.

Yeah, but we all do. You don’t get along. And if I do, I’m going to fix it because I’m a lord of the universe.”

But it was there.

It was there, but that’s one of the bizarre things about this. I said, “Applesbee? “Applebee’s? What is it?”

And then the car accident that results in the death of his girlfriend happens.

It went well, so thank you. And who wouldn’t want to see the man who taught Julia Roberts how to be classy shoot lasers at an invading army of mutants?

I was worried this movie was going down that Bernie Madoff-type road, but that’s not what this is at all. I certainly have had very few times, but I’ve had times where an actor and I did not fit. Nick and I made a point of that because, when we made the movie, it was so much on everyone’s mind — this was a year and four months ago. Do you ever feel a film is not going well?

Usually, what happens is you’ve gone over the script a million times and you go in really feeling confident about your script, [but then] you’re shooting and you realize that this scene doesn’t work. And that’s what I liked about it. And that’s more like this character. I’ve worked in Washington now for almost 30 years. A certain blockage comes up. That’s why you’re rooting for him. Everybody does. “The Hoax” is one of my favorite movies that I’ve made, and very few people have seen it. But sci-fi is something that interests me a lot, and that’s one of the genres that, for whatever reason, I haven’t been in.

Around the era when you were doing “American Gigolo” and “An Officer and a Gentleman,” nothing like that came up?

This comes down to scripts, you know? There are good version, there are bad versions. What do you do in that situation?

Well, let’s assume he didn’t mean to do any of it. So I think we did achieve that in places in that movie. The scene in the park with my daughter, where I explain to her what happened — I certainly spin it in my favor. At all. It’s large compromises with ethics and morality the guy does, but it’s all within the realm we all do. It’s not a festival movie by design. And I wanted to be genuinely creepy. And I think that’s why, in a way, we root for this guy and we identify with him. This isn’t a festival movie.

The topic came up during a discussion of “Star Wars,” which — hard as it may be to picture — Gere saw in theaters back in 1977. But you’d never see it in the film.

What movie was most important to your career? “An Officer and a Gentleman” or “Pretty Woman”? Or maybe “American Gigolo”?

It was the first one, for me. So I liked that gray area of someone like that, and adding that to the financial thing, to me, was the perfect storm of a character for two hours. Not tricky creepy, but sick creepy. Whether it would communicate to other people? I didn’t have a clue. But you’ll never see it in the film. The guys who make big bets and win.

But there’s already a lot going on.

I think it took you off of that one track that, maybe, you felt like, “I know this very well.” You don’t see it coming.

‘Bachelorette’ (Sept. And I said, “OK, let’s just do it head-on.” And we talked a little bit about him, [how] he’s a sociopath, he’s crazy. The first feature from writer-director Nicholas Jarecki, “Arbitrage” also stars Susan Sarandon as Miller’s wife, Brit Marling as his daughter, Tim Roth as a hard-boiled police detective on his trail and Nate Parker as a family friend who pays a heavy price for helping Miller in his hour of need. And either it doesn’t fit the story or it’s written all wrong or something, and you get a sense that there’s something that’s not really happening. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

It’s creepy, though.

It’s creepy. This is like “Coriolanus” or something — “Richard II.” Big characters. That script came to me about two or three years before, and I read it and said, “This isn’t for me.” I didn’t get it. And then I read it and thought, What was I thinking? This is perfect.

So that was a surprise?

The degree that that has been embraced universally, the whole planet …

Maybe that’s for the best.

I’ve never conceptualized a career.. I kept saying the line wrong. We all make bad decisions.

Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher star as the three worst bridesmaids this side of Kristen Wiig in “Bachelorette.” Based on the stage play by director and writer Leslye Headland, the hilarious film debuted on video on demand and iTunes in early August and earned nearly $500,000 during its first weekend.

After the accident, Robert flees the scene. Horrible, horrible decision. I remember Julia and I saw it together in a preview and we were sitting next to one another laughing and moved with everybody else. Except for maybe “The Jackal.” Did that interest you?

The action thing was not an interest to me. So this stands out, in a way, as being: “Wow, this is a rarity.”

When you’re filming a movie like this, can you tell if things are going pretty well? Or even on “Pretty Woman” or “Unfaithful,” do you feel, “People are going to like this”?

“Pretty Woman,” yes. He broke the law in a big way, but it’s understandable. But, in the end, they were in the realm of rational business. He just lost the bet. It’s a movie that Sidney Lumet would have made in the 70s. What’s the fault? These are Shakespearean characters. We used to have a line where I talked about Madoff. On a human level, who would just run away from that situation? How many people would have just run away? Very few.

That was my first date. The mix of people and story, and the way Garry Marshall was able to kind of corral it within his worldview, felt really good. not a great movie.

Can you give an example?

No. I’ve never — those few instances, it didn’t show up on film.

My favorite line in “Arbitrage” is when Robert asks, “What’s an Applebee’s?”

[Laughs] Do you want to know the truth? I didn’t know what it was. They’re working on human-rights stuff, they’re working on health stuff, they’re working on civil-rights stuff. But he’s not as relevant anymore. We all shave taxes — white lies to our wives and lovers. When Lasse called me up and said, “Look, I’m involved with this movie,” I said, “I read that script.” And my first thought was, No, it’s not for me.

The CEO of J.P. Terry Malick called me up in my hotel in L.A. It’s the guys who are winners. It’s creepy. He made a big bet and he lost. They really are. Chappaquiddick. And Ted Kennedy was one of the most responsible Senators that we’ve ever had. None of us did.

Ahead, Gere explains why his character isn’t really like Bernie Madoff, remembers watching “Pretty Woman” with Julia Roberts and singles out the movie from his past that still means the most to him.

So you’re feeling, “I don’t know about this”?

Yeah. And either I wasn’t open to it in the moment or, who knows? A movie like that, it was just timing of when a script comes.

Well, he’s not a sociopath — that’s a different universe. So it’s just really well-made on all levels: It’s well-conceived, well-written, well-acted, well-shot, scored. It was made with independent money; it didn’t have a distributor when we made it. These other things, I don’t really think about it, to tell you the truth.

Am I a bad person because I’m rooting for him to succeed?


That’s true. So I’ve never thought about the marketplace at all, honestly. The best people were trained in his office, came through the stuff he was pushing and working on his entire life. I was 15 and had to sneak in by buying a ticket to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” instead.

[Laughs] How did the date go?

For some reason, I can’t picture you in a theater enjoying “Star Wars.”

I remember it very well! I remember sitting there at an early showing of “Star Wars,” and the first time that the going-at-light-speed thing happened — which was new; now it seems silly — that was like, “Whoa!” I remember that very well.

Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. Not the ones who Ponzi scheme and lie.

When you were coming up as an actor, what movies did you see? Did you see “Star Wars” with everyone else in 1977?


**SPOILER ALERT: Skip the next three questions and answers if you don’t want to know about a key plot point that happens early in the movie.**

“Arbitrage” played at Sundance and didn’t come out of the festival with the hype of something like “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Can too much festival hype be a bad thing?

Well, you know, that was a festival movie

Richard Gere, ‘Arbitrage’ Star, On His Sporty Past

We knew Richard Gere had a whole life before his star-making role in “American Gigolo,” but we didn’t know it involved a pommel horse.

His gymnast past impressed more than just us — his 12-year-old son, while watching the Olympics with his dad, was shocked to find out Gere used to pull off the same feats as the guys on TV.

Gere has since followed other pursuits; while he’s better known for acting, Gere and his wife also run a Relais and Chateaux, a boutique hotel and restaurant. To hear more about Gere’s first job, watch the video above.

“There’s a picture of me [at home] having just done a dismount — I was actually looking pretty good,” Gere said. It’s not his first time working in food services. “He was very impressed that his dad had been a gymnast.”

Review: Richard Gere too good to ignore in ‘Arbitrage’

No Academy love, not even for his sinister brilliance in “Internal Affairs,” “American Gigolo” and “The Hoax,” or for the battered heart he brought to the cheated-on husband in “Unfaithful.”

Jarecki knows the territory. Watch him in the scene when Sarandon — in full, feisty flower — hits Robert with a lifetime of resentments. She can’t rock his composure. For proof that we’re in financial hell, look around. Jarecki has an eye for the telling detail, not surprising given his start with the 2005 documentary “The Outsider” (about rogue director James Toback). His rapt, watchful performance is a thing of toxic beauty. Despite his box-office success in crowd-pleasers such as “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Pretty Woman” and “Chicago,” Gere has long been underrated. But Robert keeps his cool until the sudden death of one of these women has him dodging a possible murder rap with the grudging help of Jimmy Grant (a terrific Nate Parker), the son of the family chauffeur and the only black man in Robert’s circle of white privilege. And Gere nails every nuance in a role that holds up a dark mirror to the way we live now. True, this territory has been covered from Wall Street to last year’s “Margin Call.” But Gere and first-time director Nicholas Jarecki put a tantalizing spin on what goes on in the head of a fraudulent hedge-fund manager when he decides to stick it to the rest of us, including his own family.

Gere’s performance in “Arbitrage” is too good to ignore. Fraud puts pressure on Robert’s skill at deceiving wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon), French mistress Julie (Laetitia Casta) and chief accountant Brooke (Brit Marling), who also happens to be his daughter. That’s when NYPD detective Michael Bryer (Tim Roth) smells a rat and Robert’s world begins to unravel.. Wearing the trappings of wealth like a second skin, Gere invites us to see what Robert sees. And Gere knows the man, inside and out. But Gere gives us a window into the soul of a man who finally realizes that even money will no longer help him lie to himself. Credit Jarecki, whose combustible directing debut gives “Arbitrage” the charge of a thriller and the provocation of a moral fable. It’s an implosive tour de force.

Like the best movies, “Arbitrage” persuades us to ask tough questions about ourselves. Gere digs so deep into this flawed tycoon that we come to understand Robert’s actions without for a minute forgiving them. And it resonates in his exceptional screenplay, which potently captures the gleaming seduction of Robert’s world and the fear that festers underneath.

Story highlightsRichard Gere stars as a fraudulent financier in the filmCritic says Gere’s performance is “a thing of toxic beauty”The movie also stars Susan Sarandon and Laetitia Casta

It’s instructive to note what a killer actor Richard Gere can be when a movie rises to his level.

“Arbitrage” is such a movie, a sinfully entertaining look at the sins committed in the name of money. At 62, he is at the peak of his powers. There’s enough plot here to stuff a miniseries or three, yet “Arbitrage” never descends to bland and predictable. And the glamour in his field of vision — cheers to cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (I Am Love) for the sheen and composer Cliff Martinez (Drive) for the seductive mood — is tempting enough to make us all complicit.

Gere’s Robert Miller is the picture of unflappable elegance. Docs run in the Jarecki family, with half brothers Andrew (“Capturing the Friedmans”) and Eugene (“Why We Fight”) making notable contributions to the genre. As the son of two commodities traders, Jarecki has Wall Street in his DNA. Good job on that, since he’s just lost $400 million in a bad copper-mine investment, and if he can’t cover it up and unload his company on a major bank, his career will go kaput along with his fortune