At the Berlin Film Festival for his movie “The Dinner”, Richard Gere was asked if he were to host a dinner with four people and one of the other guests was Donald Trump, who else would he invite. The fast response, “I wouldn’t be at that dinner.”
In answering another question about the isolation people are facing in today’s world, and the suggestion that film can help to build bridges rather than walls, Gere, a noted human rights activist, expounded:
“The number of hate crimes went up enormously as soon as Donald Trump started running for president, in the United States and in Europe… Unfortunately, we have leaders that stimulate fear, and that fear causes us to do really terrible things. I think that’s part of what we’re talking about in the film. We have to be really careful how we talk to each other and characterize each other. The most horrible thing Trump has done is conflate the terms refuge and terrorist. It means the same thing in the U.S. now. A refugee used to be someone who you had empathy for, who you wanted to help and give refuge to. Now we’re afraid of them. We have to really understand what he and this conservative movement has done and not forget we’re all in this together. We can’t escape each others realities. We have to embrace each other and love each other.”
The Dinner, based on the book by Herman Koch and also starring Steve Coogan, Laura Linney and Rebecca Halls, has Gere playing a politician meeting his brother with their wives for an evening meal in an expensive restaurant, while dark secrets lurking in the background come to the forefront as the night unravels.
Coogan, who’s character is revealed to suffer from mental problems, also commented on the U.S. new commander in chief.
“Yes, [my character] does have a mental illness, but compared with the president of the United States it looks like a mild headache.”