Why Richard Gere’s “Homeless” Photo Went Viral: It’s More Common — and Closer to Home — Than We Like to Think

A photograph of actor Richard Gere, homeless man, has gone viral. He’s not actually homeless: he was in character for a recently-released film called “Time out of Mind“. In it, Gere plays a mentally ill homeless man trying to reconnect with his daughter, played by Jena Malone. A fan had posted the image of the actor to the “Unofficial: Richard Gere” fan page on Facebook, along with the comment: “When I went undercover in New York City as a homeless man, no one noticed me. I felt what it was like to be a homeless man. People would just past by me and look at me in disgrace. Only one lady was kind enough to give me some food. It was an experience I’ll never forget.” (Read Gere’s interview with Salon from last month, where he talks about the experience.)

To date, the image has received 1.55 million likes on Facebook and has been shared over 640,000 times.