Richard Gere on 9/11, New Movie 'Arbitrage'

Actor remembers terrorist attack and discusses character whose life mirrors public's distrust of financial institutions.
3:00 | 09/11/12

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Transcript for Richard Gere on 9/11, New Movie 'Arbitrage'
Test Text1 plain On this 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we pause, now, to remember that moment, when the first plane hit the world trade center. ♪ The land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ a bell tolls. And we remember the victims of those attacks, 11 years ago today. And we're back, now, in the studio, with our next guest, richard gere. It's hard not to get caught up in that, richard. That moment seems so fresh. Were you in washington then? I was here. I was here in new york. I forgot this was the 11th until this morning. I was on my way to a retreat up in massachusetts. I left early in the morning. You remember, it was the most beautiful day. Just like today. And it was such a beautiful day. I left like 7:00 in the morning. I was driving up to massachusetts. It was such a beautiful day. I didn't even want the radio on. So, three hours later, I'm up there. And I come into this retreat that's on a lake. And everyone is stunned. I don't know what's going on. You knew nothing? I knew nothing until I got there because I had the radio off. They started to tell me what was going on. I couldn't call back home. The phone wasn't working. The cell wasn't working. I finally got through to the family. And everyone was okay. That's what everybody was doing that day. Take sure your family is okay. Thank you for sharing that. I do want to move on to your movie. The movie is not easy. This is something ripped out of the headlines. It recalls the bernie madoff scandal. You play a wall street titan, a benevolent billionaire on the outside. But on the inside, your world seems to be crashing in on you. I don't know if he's a billionaire, by the way. He's not quite a billionaire. He's wealthy, yeah. You know, when we made the movie, bernie madoff was kind of the archetype of everybody's idea of corruption, and money, funds, greed, and all that. By the time, the movie was released, it had gone past bernie madoff, who was obviously a very sick man. And now, we're seeing all these bankers and fund managers, who are more like us. They're more normal people, certainly living at a different stratosphere. But make the same kind of moral bad decisions. One of the things you get into, are the masters of the universe, also try to create their own moral universe. Yeah. One thing about this movie, but people think -- you and I and probably the 400 people who are here, we think we can compartmentalize our morality. And in business we can be this, at home we can be this. And our other relationships. It doesn't work that way. Our actions, our thoughts, our morality, resonates through every part of our lives. They're all connected. Talking to my producer, kate, about this early this morning. She says one of the things you pull off here in the character, is everyone is watching this thing, knowing at some level, your character's a very bad guy. But you're also rooting for him. I've had close friends come up to me who were really angry with me because they were rooting for the guy. Although, as you say, no. This guy makes very bad decisions. If you really look at the film, there's nobody in this film that doesn't make some bad decisions. From the cops. One of them is your wife. Absolutely. If you look at her actions and where she's coming from. You know, she's gotten very comfortable with the lifestyle. Let's show a little of that. Susan sarandon. How do you think I've tolerated all this? Tolerated? What about me? What about the complaining. The unhappiness. The drinking. The shopping. The trainers. Everything. Yes, the charities. The wonderful, charities. How do you think I pay for them? She wanted to cut that scene because I listed 50 things. I was making too good of a case. We had to pull some out. It is getting such great reviews all across the country. You know, at the peak of your power right now. Also getting honored, I saw at the zurich film festival. How does it feel to get the lifetime achievement awards? It's a little premature. Mid life. But these are the dinosaur awards. You have to be of a certain age and they start giving you this stuff. But it's very nice. It's very generous and very loving. Especially the european ones. The festivals that I've been to. I think europeans are -- the whole town comes out. Like san sebastian, the whole town, the whole region comes out. It's just filled with love and affection. The movie's going to be a big hit. "Arbitrage" comes out friday. Richard, thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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