A French tourist thought she was simply doing a good deed by giving pizza to a homeless man on the streets of New York City, but unbeknownst to her, the homeless man was none other than movie star Richard Gere.
Gere was in the midst of shooting his latest film Time Out Of Mind in which he plays a homeless man who tries to reconnect with his daughter. On the day that 42-year-old French tourist Karine Gombeau of Paris interacted with Gere, the actor was being filmed by cameras long distances away as he blended in with the real hustle and bustle near Grand Central, rummaging through garbage bins and stumbling around the streets.
Gombeau had no idea that the homeless man was actually Gere and that he was being filmed for the movie, so when she noticed him drinking beer from a brown paper bag she decided to give him her leftover pizza.
“I said ‘Je suis désolée [I am sorry], but the pizza is cold,'" said Gombeau to the NY Post. “He said ‘Thank you so much. God bless you.'"
Gombeau, who was on vacation with her husband and their 15-year-old son, said the family was completely unaware that they were in the middle of filming for a movie, so days later when her photo appeared online she connected the dots.
“People came from all over the station and told my husband to stop filming,” she said, alluding to the fact that her husband had been filming their trip with a camcorder for personal use. “People came out of the subways. It was very confusing.”
Gere, who is reportedly worth upwards of $100 million, was obviously very convincing as a homeless man, as Gombeau wasn’t the only one who believed the actor’s character to be real. Gombeau also says that she loves Gere’s work, although one of his most popular roles wasn’t her favorite.
"I think he's very handsome, even at his age," said Gombeau. "Pretty Woman was not my favorite movie, but I really loved Chicago."
Gombeau adds that she was sad to see so many homeless people living on the streets of New York, so her decision to give disguised Gere the pizza was because she was so moved by what she had witnessed during her trip.