Richard Gere on ‘Pretty Woman’: “I’ve forgotten it, that was a silly romantic comedy”

Richard Gere is a Buddhist and a staunch advocate for democracy in Tibet and Burma (Myanmar). He is a serious dude, bordering at times on humorless. But back in day, Richard Gere was hot stuff. He was one of the sexiest men of the 1980s and early 1990s, and he did a slew of movies of varying quality. If asked to list their favorite Richard Gere film, I think most women would probably name Pretty Woman. Right? I would list Chicago (I loved him in that!) and Primal Fear (that movie holds up), but Pretty Woman would make my top three Gere films. I can’t help it – whenever it’s on TV, I watch it. I had a VHS tape of it, and I don’t even know how many times I watched it. It’s one of the most well-done romantic-comedies ever, and let’s face it: Julia Roberts and Richard Gere were really wonderful together. It’s a modern classic. Go ahead and yell at me, but can you really argue that Pretty Woman is – to this day! – not one of the most watchable and entertaining rom-coms ever?

… Well, Richard Gere doesn’t think so. It sounds like he kind of hates his most classic film. In a new interview, he even blames the film for glamorizing Wall Street types. Ugh.

He won millions of fans due he role as Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman. But in an astonishing new interview, Richard Gere has blasted the movie, arguably the most famous of his career, labelling it a ‘silly romcom’.

The 62-year-old actor added to Australian magazine Woman’s Day magazine that he believes his character in the film even helped trigger the worldwide economic meltdown.

Speaking to Woman’s Day magazine, he said: ‘People ask me about that movie but I’ve forgotten it. That was a silly romantic comedy.’

He also says the character he played in the movie, Edward Lewis, glorified brash Wall St financiers.

Gere added: ‘It made those guys seem dashing, which was wrong. Thankfully, today, we are all more skeptical of those guys.’

In the outspoken interview, Gere also appears to dismiss the relationships he had with the likes of Kim Basinger, Uma Thurman and Priscilla Presley more than 20 years ago.

He said: ‘In the 1980s, relationships were all about status.’

But Gere has found true love with Carey Lowell, 51, his partner of 15 years and mother of their 12-year-old son, Homer James.

He said: ‘She has given me a very clear conscience of what is right and wrong. I would rather be loved than have money and all that other stuff. I know now that I would rather have something that is true, something that is based on real love.’

Promoting his new movie, the financial drama Arbitrage, he added: ‘This is a much more serious move that has some real cause and effect.’

[From The Mail]

Sure, it was “silly”. But hearing Gere disparage one of his most celebrated films is like… I don’t know… like hearing Jack Lemmon say that Some Like It Hot wasn’t any big deal. Or hearing Ralph Fiennes say The English Patient was just some dumb World War II movie. Why can’t Gere just let his fans have their little joys? And if Gere really feels that way, I hope he didn’t keep the paychecks he got for Pretty Woman… and Runaway Bride… and all of the other “silly” movies he was somehow forced to do.

Oh, and it never occurred to me that Pretty Woman might glorify Wall Streeters. I think Pretty Woman stands up because it was one of the few films that explores businessmen’s fascination with hookers.

Archive images from ‘Pretty Woman’ – additional pic by WENN.

 

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132 Responses to “Richard Gere on ‘Pretty Woman’: “I’ve forgotten it, that was a silly romantic comedy””

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  1. brin says:

    Hot young man turns into grumpy old man.

  2. Domestic diva says:

    Whatever Richard Gere be thankful for pretty woman I helped pay the bills when they had to take that gerbel out your ass sounds like there’s another one in there now

  3. Katie says:

    Blah blah blah. Just another “I’m a serious celebrity so take me seriously” story. Someone should remind them all that they play pretend for a living.

  4. bea says:

    PW is a fairy tale about a prostitute and her john. He should distance himself from that movie – it’s an embarrassment.

  5. Lis says:

    I hate people with lots of money who talk like that.

    “I would rather be loved than have money and all that other stuff.”

    That’s very easy to say when you have both.

    I don’t begrudge him his money. I just wish he’d acknowledge how important money is, and not crap on everything he’s done that’s made him so privileged.

    Amd isn’t it the whole point of Pretty Woman that it’s a “silly rom-com”? Isn’t it like complaining that daytime soaps are, like, so soapy and unrealistic?

    Frankly, I’d be more concerned with the glamorisation of prostitution, but I think people are bright enough to realise that that’s not real life. Let your fans have their fun, Richard.

  6. wunder says:

    He used to be so dang hot and now he’s well, just so ‘grandpappy-ish’.

  7. Lithe says:

    Sounds like Mr. Gere has grown up. Nothing wrong with that :)

  8. Asli says:

    Runaway Bride was a good one, too. Julia and Richard were great together.

  9. C.Lynn says:

    Ah, Richard Gere. The man who made grey sexy before George Clooney. Of course Clooney had to take it one step further and live out “Pretty Woman” in real life.

  10. Naye in VA says:

    I think he was leading off of his previous comment about past relationships being about status. The more status you have in Hollywood the more money you make.

    hes saying its not about that now, its about having a real love. And even those of us without money value that. IJS

    • Tapioca says:

      Poor Cindy!

      I will never forget those two putting out a full page ad in The Times declaring that they were happily married and not about to split, a few weeks before they split. Or that his middle name is “Tiffany”.

      I don’t know why everyone’s so hard on the concept of marriage as a business arrangement. If you marry for money at least you get to divorce for money; if you marry for love you leave with nothing!

  11. NYC_girl says:

    Don’t forget “Internal Affairs,” with Andy Garcia (my mother claims he is the only man she would run away with). I agree though, I have to watch “PW” whenever it’s on. I can’t stop myself.

  12. jojo says:

    Best rom com ever: Dirty Dancing. Ga-gung..Ga-gung!

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      That’s what I was going to post! Was also going to say this is comparable to Patrick Swayze, if he were to say DD was just a silly rom com dance movie. Of course PS would never say that, it turned out to be his legacy. He also had too much class to disparage it.

    • Green_Eyes says:

      Lol…totally agree! My hubby of 17 yrs loves it also ..it became “our movie”. After 16 yrs of marriage hubby pointed out (after gazillon viewings & I never even gave it a thought duh!) that our home literally is the “Kellerman” resort to all the lil critters we have taken in over the yrs. Right down to my lil delinquent Johnnyv(blue Russian named after my dad, who at 81 is still a rebel & young) and our baby doll Persian named Baby (as hubby wanted to name her but while thinking of names kept calling her Baby til well that is what she answers to….and though both are “fixed” ironically our Johnny is quite aerodynamic and Baby is his best friend & snuggle buddy..he loves showing off his aero dynamic skills for her at my expense). My best friend asked after we got Baby if we planned the names and the tie in and no we didn’t (baby & Johnny are 3 yrs apart & Baby was an unexpected gift after our white Persian was killed, but we do love our olio feline love story & our “resort” as much as our movie;)

      • Jen says:

        Wow. You need to get out more.

      • Green_Eyes says:

        Wow, you can be a jerk. Can’t help what my last name is, and as I said the cats were not named after the movie.. It was pointed out to us, it was just cute that it all tied into our favorite movie. You need to get out more if you can’t see the humor in it.

      • Lady D says:

        Thank you for opening your home and heart to the 4-legged. You are rare and special Green_Eyes.

      • Green_Eyes says:

        Lady D, thank you:). Sadly we live by a Lake and alot of little ones have gotten dumped out here over the yrs. We also take in baby’s from stray cats that have abandoned, their babies when left behind or the momma sadly killed, and ones the ladies at the Humane Society call us on that they think we should help. (Baby was 3 months old when an elderly lady took her to the pound only because she had no time to litter box train, took me a whole 3 days and she is an angel! The love and joy they give far outweighs anything else, and they are our “children” as I couldnt have any. I thank you Lady D, just do it out of love….:)

  13. Jo says:

    I’ve read the reports of this ‘interview’ are bogus. Apparently, he never said these things about Pretty Woman.

  14. Gradstudenteatinghotpockets says:

    An Officer and a Gentleman was waaaaaaaaaaay better. Mmm.

  15. Suz says:

    It’s more like Christopher Plummer trashing “The Sound of Music” throughout the ages. Both that and “Pretty Woman” were popular, well-done, but definitely middle -brow movies that defined their leads for a long, long time. I can see how it would annoy Gere.

    I just can’t put “Pretty Woman” and “Some LIke it Hot” in the same sentence, much less the same category. They just …. aren’t.

    Gere does sound grumpy, though. It happens when you get old…

  16. sarah says:

    Love Pretty Woman but it is a silly rom-com.

  17. Norma says:

    He was in American Gigolo with Lauren Hutton. Saw it as a teenager and we died in the cinema.

  18. Cel says:

    He is right, it is a silly rom-com. I remember liking it for Julia’s wardrobe but that was about it.

    It does not compare to The English Patient – I can’t imagine Ralph Fiennes ever describing that movie as dumb.

  19. maggiegrace says:

    RG has ALWAYS been self-righteous. It was a shiteous, offensive movie. But he’s looking a gift horse in the mouth.

  20. wunder says:

    Well, did he also forget about all the $$$ he got paid to do ‘Pretty Woman’?

  21. Rhiley says:

    What a boob, but I have always kind of disliked Richard Gere, except as Edward Lewis. He is just so very very boring.

  22. M3l says:

    I have many fond memories of watching silly rom coms with my Gran, Pretty Woman was in high rotation so *sticks fingers in ears*

    Lalala, I can’t hear you Mr. Gere!

  23. Ravensdaughter says:

    It was extraordinarily silly-good call, Rich.
    I suspect that if we all jump to IMDB, we will see that the majority of Julia’s oeuvre has been fluff-great actress, indeed. She lucked out with “Erin Brockovich”. She was good in “Closer”, but didn’t quite fit (Clive Owen was in that too!)
    Loved Richard in “Chicago”-he fully realized his snark potential-while singing and dancing-fantastic!

  24. Jaded says:

    What a hypocritical old fart he’s become.

  25. Jayna says:

    He’s a guy. What do you want? They don’t understand women’s total love and attraction to great romantic comedies. And Pretty Woman is one of them. There is an authenticity to the movie. You honestly believe in these characters. That’s kind of hard to pull off considering they were famous movie stars. But I bought it. But he’s a guy and it was ages ago. I get it.

    I adore this man. He was so hot in the ’90s. You forgot to list his movie with Debra Winger in it. The name escapes me, but I loved that movie.

    He has really I believe found true happiness with Carey. They even own a restaurant out in the country where they live outside of New York. I do believe he isn’t some star chasing the all mighty dollar owning mansions in five cities. The old article about his love for his stepdaughter and fatherhood at his age with his son was really moving.

    • Jackie says:

      there is an authenticity to the movie pretty woman??

      if you really think that movie is an accurate portrayal of a women who works as a prostitute, you need to come out of your bubble.

      sorry, but maybe a reality check is needed.

      • Jayna says:

        I meant playing their characters I just didn’t sit there seeing Julia and Richard. Many times I just see stars acting. I felt they had a real chemistry that translated on screen really nicely. No one sits there and believes a fairytale about a hooker all fresh and nondrug-addicted. It’s a movie. Sometimes you suspend disbelief and enjoy it, like certain thrillers. The movie was well done.

    • Esmom says:

      I have to respectfully disagree with you there. I didn’t see anything authentic in Pretty Woman at all, it was more of a (twisted) fairy tale. I didn’t think for one second that Julia Roberts was a hooker. Even her “rougher” roommate played by Laura San Giacomo didn’t ring true. And Gere’s character was laughable as an authentic businessman, not to mention the big-hearted hotel staff. Sorry :)

  26. cr says:

    “Or hearing Ralph Fiennes say The English Patient was just some dumb World War II movie. ”

    I hated this movie as well. At least PW was supposed to be fluffy, EP was pretentious.

    But, if it makes you happy …

  27. mel says:

    I loved the movie – what can I say…the 80s and 90s defined me. I wouldn’t let my daughters watch it though….

  28. Lisa says:

    No, I agree with him. It is a silly movie…I remember really wanting to see it in seventh grade (in the 90s) because I had just become a Julia Roberts fan (I was young) and I might watch it when it’s on TV but it hasn’t aged well as a film. You are so right about Richard Gere being super serious but sometimes he shows that he has a sense of humor about himself. I loved him in Chicago and Shall We Dance. I think he means what he says about love and his relationship with Carey Lowell and I’m glad they found each other.

  29. Nev says:

    he will forever be one of the most sexiest men alive.

  30. Day says:

    Isn’t the point of romcoms is for them to be silly and unrealistic? It is just entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less. And, it is still one of my favorite movies to date. I watch it anytime it is on. Julia and Richard were so HOT back then. I don’t think Richard is bad looking now–just not as hot. He does seem grumpy though.

  31. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    Loved PW. It pretty much summed up how I feel about relationships, that they are business transactions first…lol, I kid, I kid…kinda.

  32. Green_Eyes says:

    I find it funny he claims to have forgotten about it. Especially when he teamed up w/ Julia for The Runaway Bride and kept hyping how their chemistry was back in this movie (didn’t seem like it to me…but that’s just me). If anything Pretty Woman could be construed as giving young teen runaways the misconception that they too could become prostitutes and find Prince Charming. The whole Wall Street comment is ridiculous. Loved Gere, but like so many actors apparently he has been drinking his own kool aid too long… Gere trying to portray himself as so evolving, a very deep & intelligent person in actuality makes him sound like shallow being instead.

  33. D. says:

    Gere’s involvement in this horrible, offensive movie is more embarrassing than all the gerbil rumors about him put together. He’s absolutely right to dismiss it.

  34. P.M. says:

    My mom took me to see this when I was in my 20s, I couldn’t stand it. I think the original title was $3,000, and (one) of the original endings it showed Lewis going back to New York and her back to walking the street. At least in American Gigolo he was the whore.

  35. Jaxx says:

    Wow, Julia has irritated me for so many years that I had forgotten that she was, indeed, THE Pretty Woman of those days. Her face was so soft and pretty then and balances her Joker’s mouth. Now, I just want her to take her big mouth and horse laugh and go away.

    And still, Pretty Woman is one of my favorite movies. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. I hate it when actors get older look down their nose at roles that made them famous.

    • sup says:

      all the boys were in love with julia, back in the 90′s! she was the megan fox of her day. by the way i realized how healthy thin she was back then, of course she wasn’t even remotely fat but do you think she would have been called fat if she was this weight in this day and age? i bet she would have been pressured into becoming a smaller, hollywood size (0) for her arms alone. celebs got so much tinier i doubt even cindy crawford would have been as famous if she were to start modelling today.

  36. sup says:

    i hate it when actors shame their old projects especially when they owe part of their fame to it. yeah he got famous for other parts but this flick solidified his fame into the 90′s. it’s just like that rooney mara chick bit the hand and said she hated elm street and the law & order parts she got. sorry but silly or not, this movie was and remains a cult and i’m not even a fan, but being part of a cult movie is something to be proud of, no matter how silly romcom it is.

  37. Cinesnatch says:

    While Pretty Woman was Julia Roberts’ biggest hit, it was not arguable Richard Gere’s. An Officer and a Gentleman made just as much money, adjust after inflation.

  38. Rachel() says:

    For some reason, every time I see Richard Gere, I want to slap him across the face. He just irks me….maybe his internal lameness just shines through.

  39. hopperlea says:

    Cannot stand Pretty Woman, but I will watch An Officer And A Gentleman everytime. Young hot Gere in a uniform…..swoon.

  40. Romia says:

    It’s so easy to be self-righteous, condescending, intolerant, and “above it all” once you’ve already made your fortune doing the very same things you’re b*tching about in order to get there. F*** Richard Gere.

  41. nanette says:

    Pretty Woman glorified streetwalkers! Why it ever became a hit is beyond me. Streetwalkers are women who are victimized, murdered and worse. Why would anyone like this hideous film! Don’t blame Richard Gere for disassociating himself from this dangerous piece of fluff. JR should too.

  42. mollination says:

    “I’d rather have love than money and all that other stuff”

    Sure, I think most people would, but it’s not as valid a statement from someone who has both. Flippant and annoying.

  43. JFC says:

    Seriously – could some of you knock it off with the, “Women love this movie! Women think it’s such a great love story/romantic comedy!”

    It’s as annoying as “Women love Twilight! They think it’s such a great romance!”

    Speak for yourselves and leave the rest of us out of it.

  44. Michel says:

    Richard Gere comes home to Central NY to our garden center every spring to buy his mother her salmon geraniums. I had the pleasure of helping him when he came in with his dad. He was an absoulute dream – gracious and freakishly handsome. The fact that he takes his dad to buy his mother’s flowers every spring is so cool!!

  45. Moi says:

    I’d like to forget it too Richard, I’d like to forget it too. Just watched The Mothman Prophesies the other day for the first time and it was pretty good!

  46. Snowpea says:

    Forget the politics of it – I cannot get past how BIG Julia Roberts’ arm looks!

    Not that it probably IS big, but just that we have grown accustomed to seeing really really thin women, thus normalising a malnourished state of being.

    Angelina, I’m looking at you.

    • RuddyZooKeeper says:

      … and hairy as well.

      • D1 says:

        It’s fascinating (and kind of sad) to see photo shoots from the 90s and see how actresses were more likely to be shown as they look in real life – for example, as in the picture above, with hair on their arms -but nowadays, that would all be photoshopped out.

    • Cirque28 says:

      Totally! That arm would have been photoshopped into oblivion today! And Julia was a slim girl with long, slim limbs. But not emaciated. And your arms just DO that when you press them against something. But we never see that anymore on movie posters. It almost looks weird now and how distorted has our view become that it should look weird?

    • former lurker says:

      I find the photoshop comments interesting for a couple of reasons. (1) because I think that people are right about how it would be portrayed now, but also (2) from what I remember at the time, there was some ‘controversy’ over the promotional material because it’s not actually Julia Roberts body that you are looking at….and it isn’t his hair either.

      • Cirque28 says:

        Ooh, I forgot about the body double controversy! I think maybe it was just the official PW movie poster though and pics like these made it clear that it was not Julia on the main poster. (Because, clearly, she was far too chunky and as hairy as a hobbit. j/k)

  47. the original bellaluna says:

    “And the Band Played On” is still the best thing he’s ever been in.

  48. anya says:

    A crappy film with a very dubious message. He’s gone up in my estimations for calling it like it is! I can’t believe people can take this film seriously- it’s so offensive on so many levels

  49. laji says:

    Pretty Woman. One of the most despicable movies I’ve ever seen. I’ve never liked it, not even a little bit. The movie itself if horrifying in so many ways, but the fact that most women my age *loved* it, and still do, is even more chilling.

    “Just entertainment?” So is Toddlers and Tiaras for some people. “Just entertainment” is the worst justification for the pop garbage infesting our culture.

  50. D1 says:

    Look – people who don’t like “Pretty Woman” just don’t understand it.

    It’s NOT a romantic comedy. It’s obviously a civil rights story.

    Don’t you remember that scene where poor Julia goes shopping in her whoring clothes? And those mean saleswomen refuse to let her buy anything & throw her out of their store?

    Ohmigod, you guys – how I cried! All she wanted was some Christian Dior but those horrible women couldn’t see past her thigh-high prostitute boots.

    It was even more devastating than that scene in the film “The Rosa Parks Story”, where Angela Bassett gets thrown off a bus.

    To paraphrase Martin Luther King, the real message of “Pretty Woman” is that you shouldn’t judge a woman by her exposed midriff and tacky hooker spandex, but by the content of her character and her unexpectedly charming honking goose laugh. Duh.

  51. Dirty Martini says:

    Meh. I’m all conflicted–but not emotionally twisted–on this one. Yes PW was a lightweight romcom. But hey–it was total brain candy and we all need brain candy sometimes. Nothing to be ashamed about. Consider it well paid community service, OK, RG?

    But as sugary braincandy as PW was, in hindsight, it doesnt still resonate. Maybe its the Wall St meltdown, maybe its the romanticizing of prostitution, maybe its because we all know what an utter bi-otch JR turned out to be, and what a stick-in-the mud RG turned out to be….but the movie simply hasn’t aged well.

    Next–well he did (age well). He’s freaking hot. In 1980s and 2012. Still. But just stand there and let me look. STFU otherwise if this is what you want to talk about ….yawn.
    But as far as his hottest of them all……Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

    Just sayin’.

  52. Kathy says:

    Interesting, seeing as “Pretty Woman” was sorta his comeback, was it not? After that movie, he was EVERYWHERE.

    PS: I loved that move. I would sit in the theatre and watch it again and again and cry!! It was back in the day when they didn’t clear the theatre after every showing. Don’t care who hates it. My best friend loathes it. Too bad. I still love it.

    I was friends with a producer who gave me the original script called “Three Thousand.” It was very very dark. Nothing like the film eventually made. I’m glad they changed it. Don’t care. I’m very very glad.

  53. Ginger says:

    Sorry but I hated Pretty Woman…I thought it was dumb and can’t really stand Julia Roberts in general. With that being said, my top Richard Gere movie is An Officer and A Gentleman…”I got nowhere else to go!” He was so hot in the film!

  54. UKHels says:

    hate Pretty Woman with the all the passion in my heart

    and hate Richard Gere too

    in fact, why did I read this story? ha ha

  55. Chris says:

    Breathless is my favourite Richard Gere movie. And I forgot how hot, hot, hot Julia Roberts used to be. Look at her in that second photo. Wow.