Lies. Lies. And more lies. Clifford Irving was pretty good at it.
“For an actor to play someone who lies constantly is great fun,” Gere says of his work in “The Hoax.” “Doubling down is what I call it. You lie and then you have to lie to cover the small one. You’re continually doubling down on the lies. There was a tipping point with the lies where he started to believe them.”
But what really made this con-man tale riveting for Gere is how the story resonated with Nixon, the Vietnam War and Watergate: “It’s the story of how small lies connect to very large lies — how it connects to presidents who lie and wars that start from lies and obviously how that resonates today.”
Gere has never met the subject of “The Hoax,” but they did share a phone conversation. “I just called out of the blue,” Gere recalls. “He was complimentary about my work in the film, but I think he had a sense that it was reductive about him. But, of course, the movie wasn’t just about him. It was about these larger issues.”
The politically minded actor is open to doing more biopics. Imagine him as George W. Bush. He’s up for the challenge — on one condition: “If it painted him with all the irony and madness there. Sure.”