Richard Gere reminisces about AMERICAN GIGOLO

In a new interview with EW, Richard Gere discusses some of his biggest career highlights, including the 1980 film AMERICAN GIGOLO, which many feel was his big breakout film.

Replacing John Travolta, he says he only had two weeks before filming began to prep for the role – a role he says he didn’t really have much background knowledge about:

Gere recalls how he decided to take the role with which he would become synonymous during the early 1980s. “Paul came to see me in Malibu and said, ‘You’ve got to say yes to this by tomorrow at the latest.’ I read it and I thought, ‘This is a character I don’t know very well. I don’t own a suit. He speaks languages; I don’t speak any languages. There’s kind of a gay thing that’s flirting through it and I didn’t know the gay community at all.’ I wanted to immerse myself in all of that and I had literally two weeks. So I just dove in. If I recall, [the nudity] wasn’t in the script. It was just in the natural process of making the movie. I certainly felt vulnerable, but I think it’s different for men than women.”

I remember the film well, even though I was about 17 at the time. The soundtrack by Giorgio Moroder was huge, and really brought the music of Blondie with Debbie Harry to the forefront of the music scene as disco was on it’s way out and new wave was coming in.