It's been almost ten years since we last saw Richard Gere star in a Hollywood Blockbuster.
The 67-year-old actor has finally broken his silence to explain why he's been noticeably absent from the big screen.
Gere told The Hollywood Reporter that his strong criticism of China's invasion of Tibet has cost him roles in major movies.
“There are definitely movies that I can’t be in because the Chinese will say, ‘Not with him’,” he said.
“I recently had an episode where someone said they could not finance a film with me because it would upset the Chinese,” he added.
The Pretty Woman star, who is a practising Tibetan Buddhist, has been very vocal about the "horrendous human rights situation" China has inflicted on Tibet and has been given a lifelong ban from entering the country after he went off script to voice his opinion during the 1993 Academy Awards.
Since China finances a big part of Hollywood, casting agents and producers of big budget movies aren't left with many options but to drop Gere. He hasn't landed a leading role since 2008's Nights in Rodanthe.
Despite all the backlash, there's a silver lining. Gere isn't too bothered by his career stall, he now takes on smaller roles in indie flicks and still has all his earnings from his previous work to keep him afloat. “I’m not interested in playing the wizened Jedi in your tentpole,” he said.
“I was successful enough in the last three decades that I can afford to do these [smaller films] now.”
The actor made a return to the screen with two recent movies - The Dinner and Norman, co-starring Michael Sheen and Steve Buscemi.