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TIT

NEW! Richard Gere  ('Norman') NEW! Richard Gere ('Norman')

'This Means War!'

Norman (Richard Gere), a New York fixer, knows the right people and can get things done. When an Israeli dignitary named Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi) comes to the city, Norman decides to impress the man by buying him some very expensive shoes.

It works and he establishes a strong connection to the man, but a few years later, when Eshel becomes the Israel prime minister, Norman can't communicate with him anymore, and this threatens to destroy his reputation.

The film, and to give it it's full title, 'Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,' never shows Gere's character at home and at one point makes it look as though he's going to sleep in a train station. "He carries his home with him," Gere says, gently shrugging his shoulders. "He's got six layers of clothes on. He's got his leather bag that has everything inside of it. He's a turtle, and that is his home. But I think, metaphorically, this is the Wandering Jew who is looking for home, a safe place."

On the connection between Norman and Eshel, the Israeli politician, Gere is very open, very honest. "It's one of those magical things. I buy him a pair of shoes and it is more than just a pair of shoes. Something magical has to happen there that you believe that there is a connection. In a way, they're both peripheral characters."

"You know, when they meet, Norman sees something in Eshel, who is a junior minister in the Israeli government and who feels peripheral himself; he doesn't know where his career is going. Norman is nowhere, but he sees something in him and fashions a meet, a cute meet, at a shoe store. But that's really the only face-to-face major scene we have together. We definitely connect in other places, mostly over the phone. But that scene has to be large."

On Norman's habit of making a lot of promises to a lot of different people, Gere contemplates his answer before replying. "As Norman says, "You never know. You never know." You don't know where this is going; you never know. You never know. This is a guy who has a lot of spinning plates for sure, and I guess the thought is that one of those plates is really going to turn into gold."

"He kind of trusts that everything is connected. I think that's part of who he is, literally this thing of "you never know." If you're out there doing things, you never know which one's going to work. And I think this mentality sees everything as being connected. It's not knowing quite when things are going to come together in a material sense or in a narrative sense, but trusting that it will somehow, if you wait it out long enough and give it enough energy."

Finally, we discuss just what kind of person Norman really is. "I see him somewhat as a holy fool. You know, there's a bit of, I think, Chaplin's The Tramp in him. You don't know what his background is. Where does The Tramp live? What's his family? You don't really know anything about him. You kind of get him intuitively, who he is, and you get a sense of his emotional makeup and his softness; there's a kindness in him."

"I think there's a kindness and softness in Norman, where he really believes these schemes are going to be good for people. He's a bringer of happiness. I think he's highly motivated. There's no Iago in him; there's no darkness. And as I was playing him, I realized there's no anger. He gets frustrated, but this is not someone considering his defeats and his humiliations, which we see a lot of in this he takes the blows, he transforms it and he turns it into forward motion."

'Norman' Official Trailer