Stashed away in a cosy café in Croatia, the affable Richard Gere happily chats away to TF about The Hunting Party. Based on the true story of a gaggle of journalists tracking Bosnia’s top war criminal, it teams Gere and Terence Howard with Matador helmer/scribbler Richard Shepard…
This is, apparently, a different role for you. Are you a little sick of hearing that?
(Laughs) Every movie I do is apparently going to show a whole new side to me!.
Still, playing washed-up TV journalist must be a tasty change of pace?
Definitely; this guy is at the end of his rope so there’s a lot of anger and a sense of a human being in great need of redemption. He has nothing, so he is incredibly free other than this huge sense of guilt.
Bee Season, I’m Not There; You seem to have hit a bit of a purple patch in your career...
Well, there’s no secret to it. You just go with the process you’ve always gone with when it comes to selecting projects. Even if I wasn’t involved in human rights, on the basis of it being a terrific script I would have been engaged.
The film takes place just after the conflict in Bosnia - with such a delicate subject matter, how important was that first conversation with the director?
I needed to know that Richard Shepard was coming from the right place. It was clear that he had the intention of making a serious film, whereas a lesser director could have turned this into a buddy movie.
Do you remember watching the reports of the conflict as it happened?
I do. I remember everything changed when they broadcast those photographs of Bosnian men in prison camps, looking like they’d just stepped out of Auschwitz. That was a huge turning point, the world became engaged. That’s the power of the image in today’s society.