updated 04/24/2014 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/24/2014 AT 12:55 PM ET
The duo participated in a makeunder so dramatic even savvy New Yorkers failed to recognize the famous actors Tuesday as they wandered the streets of Manhattan while furtively filming Time Out of Mind.
The typically dapper Gere, 64, was spotted eating over a trash can while sporting a scraggly beard and wearing a threadbare jacket and ski hat.
Gere tricked every single person who walked past him in the bustling area near Grand Central Terminal during the evening rush hour, reports the New York Post.
“He looked like a natural homeless guy,” Mizan Rahman, a newspaper salesman in the area, told the paper. “He didn’t seem like he was acting … He was putting his hand in the trash. He looked like a real homeless guy finding something.”
His performance even prompted one big-hearted passerby to hand him a bag of food in an “I Love New York” bag, which he meekly accepted while staying in character.
Cameras were stationed across the street and far enough away that people did not realize what was being filmed. Gere plays a homeless man attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter in the movie.
Sedgwick, 48, portrays a fellow homeless person in the film and clearly shed any sign of vanity for the role: She was photographed sitting on a park bench next to a shopping cart full of her character’s belongings.