A French tourist visiting New York, found herself mistaking the multi-millionaire Hollywood star Richard Gere for a homeless man, and handed him some pizza.
The 42-year-old tourist, Karine Gombeau, was at Grand Central Station on Tuesday, just before dusk. As she was passing through she noticed a scruffily dressed man digging through a trash can and drinking beer from a brown paper bag.
Gombeau spoke to reporters about the incident: “I said “Je suis désolée [I am sorry], but the pizza is cold,” she said, offering the veteran actor the remains of a family pizza. which she carried, ironically, in an “I Love NY’ bag.”
She told the NY Post that the ‘tramp’, Richard Gere, responded: “Thank you so much. God bless you.”
It wasn’t until two days later that the visitor to New York opened her morning newspaper to see for herself that the man to whom she gave pizza was, in fact, Richard Gere.
So why was Gere wandering the streets on New York dressed like a tramp? Actually, he was in Manhattan filming his latest movie, Time Out of Mind, in which he stars alongside Jena Malone and Kyra Sedgwick.
The French tourist wasn’t the only person who mistook Richard Gere for a homeless man. Mizan Rahman, a salesman, told reporters that Gere “looked like a natural homeless guy…. It didn’t seem like he was acting,” he said.
Gombeau spoke about how hard she finds it to see people searching trash cans for food: “It leaves me really sad to know we waste food and they have nothing. It really moves me,” she said.
Even though Gombeau didn’t realize at the time that her and her family were in the middle of a movie set she said that in retrospect it all made sense: “People came from all over the station and told my husband to stop filming. People came out of the subways. It was very confusing,” she said.