From Runaway Bride to Chicago, Richard Gere has graced our screens for almost two decades as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
But shortly after, the now 70-year-old actor began slipping from the spotlight.
In 2020, it’s been 12 years since Gere starred in a major Hollywood blockbuster, the last of which was 2008 film Nights In Rodanthe.
And according to Gere, there’s one reason behind it: China.
The 70-year-old’s choice to speak out against human rights violations in China has seen him blacklisted from major Hollywood films and award ceremonies.
Back in the 1970s, Gere, who has been a practising Tibetan Buddhist since his twenties, travelled to Nepal to meet Tibetan monks. He even became friends with the Dalai Lama himself.
In the following years, Gere used his celebrity status to speak out against China's occupation of Tibet. During his presentation for the Best Art Director award at the 1993 Academy Awards, he publically condemned China's "horrendous, horrendous human rights situation".
His outburst saw him banned from future Oscar ceremonies.
Ten years later, his hit musical film Chicago won six Oscars including Best Picture. While his co-stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah, Renee Zellweger and John C. Reilly all landed nominations, Gere noticeable did not. And it understandably bothered him.
"The only time it really bothered me was in Chicago. Everyone else got nominated. I’m waiting for my name (to be read out in the nominations) and it goes right by me, like, ‘Wow, what happened?’ I have to admit, that got to me," he told US talk show The View in 2012.
But that didn't stop him from voicing her concerns about China. In 2008, he called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games and pressured China to allow Tibetans their independence.