A French tourist mistook Hollywood actor Richard Gere for a tramp in New York, offering him a slice of cold pizza. Gere was dressed in a scruffy anorak rummaging through a bin outside Grand Central Station, as part of a scene in his new movie Time Out Of Mind, in which he plays a homeless New Yorker trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter.
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Gere was swigging beer from a brown paper bag when a French tourist approached him with the remains of her family pizza. Karine Gombeau and her family had just finished eating at a local restaurant when she saw Gere scavenging for food.
"I said 'Je suis désolée [I am sorry], but the pizza is cold,'" Gombeau told the NY Post. "He said 'Thank you so much. God bless you.'"
Gombeau said she and her family were oblivious to the cameras and movie crew and she only realised that she had offered cold pizza to one of the world's most famous men after seeing her pictures online.
"People came from all over the station and told my husband to stop filming," she said. "People came out of the subways. It was very confusing."
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"It was magical. It's crazy, this story. It's unimaginable that something like this could happen," she gushed.
"I think he's very handsome, even at his age," she added. "Pretty Woman' was not my favorite movie, but I really loved 'Chicago.'?
Gombeau, who works in the tourist industry, said it broke her heart to see homeless people in the Big Apple.
"It leaves me really sad to know we waste food and they have nothing," she said. "It really moves me."
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To be fair to Gombeau, she wasn't the only one fooled by Gere's new guise. Salesman Mizan Rahman told reports that Gere "looked like a natural homeless guy. It didn't seem like he was acting."
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Directed by Oscar nominee Oren Moverman, Time Out Of Mind also stars the Hunger Games actress Jena Malone. It is likely to be released early 2015.
Gere recently completed shooting the comedy sequel The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2, with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Bill Nighy. It is due for release on March 6, 2015.