Richard Gere got great satisfaction from restoring a derelict building in his local area.

The 'Arbitrage' actor and his wife Carey took on a rundown farmhouse in Los Angeles and reconverted it into an eight-bedroom hotel, The Bedford Post Inn, and he revealed he took on the project for the sake of creating something special, not to make money.

He said: ''My mother says I have an edifice complex because I like to build. The inn was one of the only original buildings left in the area where we live and it was just painful to watch it falling apart and falling down, so one thing led to another.

''We rebuilt it and made it beautiful. My only interest was in creating a centre in the community. I have no interest in it as a business whatsoever. I'm a terrible businessman.''

Richard, 63, regularly campaigns for human rights issues in Tibet as well as ecological issues and AIDS awareness.

Although he is committed to charity work, the 'Pretty Woman' star can only support projects he feels personally invested in.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper, he said: ''Bono and I were talking about this and how when we talk about a subject we have to know more than anyone else because there's always scepticism, 'What do they know?' So I won't talk about anything that I don't personally have an experience of.

''I have my own thoughts and enough experience in the bank and have studied enough and can speak authoritively, at least from my personal point of view. I don't have any problems, but the world is filled with problems and we need to care about them. We need to speak up and talk about them constantly.''