Actor Richard Gere is putting himself through a tough regime on the set of his new movie Shall We Dance? - by using every spare moment he has polishing his fancy footwork.

The CHICAGO star, who appears in the flick with Jennifer Lopez, has been brushing up on his ballroom dancing skills on the Canadian set with the help of competition-winning dancers, and his co-star Lisa Ann Walter is astounded with how hard he works.

She says, "He's taking over the tile of 'Hardest Working Man in Show Business' from James Brown, I'll tell you.'

"Whenever there's a break in shooting, Richard runs over to the dance studio to work with our instructors, who are like number one-ranked Blackpool competition dancers. Two nights ago, he was there 'til midnight.

"He gets this really determined look on his face, which I call 'dance face'. It reminds me of my son JORDAN when he was learning to cut with scissors."

The anticipated flick also boasts Stanley Tucci and Susan Sarandon among its castmembers.

02/07/2003 02:35