Richard Gere has said he accepted his American Gigolo role in part to “immerse” himself in the film's gay subtext.

Gere came to prominence in the 1980 crime drama playing Julian Kaye, a high-paid narcissistic male escort who is suspected of murder.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gere reflected on how he landed the role after John Travolta bowed out at the last moment.

Director Paul Schrader “came to see me in Malibu and said, 'You've got to say yes to this by tomorrow at the latest.' I read it and I thought, 'This is a character I don't know very well. I don't own a suit. He speaks languages; I don't speak any languages. There's kind of a gay thing that's flirting through it and I didn't know the gay community at all.' I wanted to immerse myself in all of that and I had literally two weeks,” Gere said. “So I just dove in. If I recall, [the nudity] wasn't in the script. It was just in the natural process of making the movie. I certainly felt vulnerable, but I think it's different for men than women.”