RICHARD GERE: [gesturing to cast to join him] No, no, no, come, come over here. Come, come, come. Come, come, come, come, come, come, come.
I don’t -- crowd in here, don’t do this thing, come on, come on, get in here. [Queen Latifah polishes the statue] [laughter] And I’m going to — I’m not going to — what have you got there?
QUEEN LATIFAH : Sorry, sorry. Sorry, couldn’t help it.
GERE: This is - -look, I’ve been doing this since I was 19 years old. That’s a long time. And it’s like half the people in this room I actually know and have worked with. I’m the old guy. [laughter] I have never, ever had such fun in my life as an actor. I didn’ t know what it meant to really be an actor ‘til I did this. And I think we all feel the same way. [applause]
From day one it was -- we’re a family, we’re just a family doing this -- and it was — I remember that first summer stock job I had in Provincetown, it was the same feeling. Except then I was too shy to talk about it, but now I can. [laughter]
It ... there’s ... we’re all doing this crazy profession, abolutely insane, we play other people, basically because we loathe ourselves, right? That’s the way it is . [laughter] But we are doing this. [laughs] And it’s like you look at your life at whatever point you’re at and you go, well, what am I? I’m an actor . And I’m so deeply proud to be doing this, as a person, for a living, with my family, and this — this family. I’m speaking for all of them, because we say this all the time. We do the junkets and we say this over and over and over again. But it’s absolutely true.
There was such love and affection during this production. We all felt like we were in the Rob Marshall vaudeville and medicine show [laughter] for the entire production. And the one common denominator about it all -- I mean, there was Harvey and there was Meryl, and there was Bill Condon, who wrote it, [applause] and all of our ... and Dion Beebe who made us look so great. And all of that.
But there’s one guy that made this whole thing work, and that’s Rob Marshall. [applause] Never, never have I seen someone so clearly hold the center of a production like that, and bring out the best in everyone, from the guy who swept the floor, from the guys that were singing the songs. So this, my dear friend, belongs to all of us as your family. Thank you so much . All of you. [applause]