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Gérard Depardieu a Russian Citizen?

Is French actor Gérard Depardieu now a Russian national?

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Gérard Depardieu – the first French actor to be nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for a French-language performance (Cyrano de Bergerac in 1990), the iconic Obélix in the popular (in France) Asterix movies, and a two-time winner of and 14-time nominee for the French Academy’s César Awards – may no longer be a Frenchman in the near future. According to the Russian government’s website, president Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to Depardieu earlier today.

But why?

Because of Depardieu’s supposed “close friendship” with communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro?


Because Depardieu starred in Peter Weir’s dreadful 1991 (Oscar-nominated for Best Original Screenplay) romantic comedy Green Card, in which the Frenchman enters a fake marriage with Andie McDowell so he can stay in the U.S.?


Because Depardieu stars in an ad for the Sovietsky Bank credit card?


Because Depardieu has the title role in Josée Dayan’s 2011 television movie Rasputin?


The 64-year-old Gérard Depardieu (born in Châteauroux, Indre, on Dec. 27, 1948) may have become as Russian as Doctor Zhivago merely because he has publicly vented his fury at socialist French president François Hollande, who has tried to imposed a 75 percent income tax on that country’s super-rich (over €1 million in revenues), in addition to a wealth tax. According to a report in The Guardian, in Russia everybody pays a flat 13 percent. And the Putin government wants every disgustingly rich European to know that.

Will American multimillionaires and billionaires follow suit?

That doesn’t seem too likely, considering that that country’s Republican leaders are determined to subsidize the United States’ own filthy rich at the expense of that country’s middle- and working-classes, and the poor.

Anyhow, Gérard Depardieu himself hasn’t come out as a Russian. The Guardian adds that a representative for the actor has “declined to say whether he had accepted the offer and refused all comment.”

Last December, Vladimir Putin commiserated with Gérard Depardieu after the actor publicly considered taking up Russian citizenship. Depardieu had already announced that he was moving to Belgium in order to flee France’s potentially higher taxes. Note: I say “potentially” because a few days ago that country’s highest court vetoed the Socialist government’s proposal; Hollande, however, has vowed to resubmit a similar tax measure for approval.

Gérard Depardieu ‘pathetic’

A couple of weeks ago, in response to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s calling him “pathetic,” Depardieu wrote an open letter in which he stated, “I have never killed anyone, I don’t think I’ve been unworthy, I’ve paid €145 million [approximately $190 million] in taxes over 45 years. I will neither complain nor brag, but I refuse to be called ‘pathetic’.” In that missive, Depardieu also called himself “a true European, a citizen of the world,” adding that he would give up his French passport and social security card.

But according to French law, before giving up his French citizenship Depardieu must have a spare one. And that’s where Vladimir Putin’s grant comes in handy. If Depardieu takes up Russian citizenship, it’s unclear whether or not he’ll have to set up residence in Russia or if his new Belgian home will do.

Gérard Depardieu movies

Besides Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s Cyrano de Bergerac, Gérard Depardieu has been featured in about 150 movies since his first appearance in a bit part in 1967. Among those are Bertrand Blier’s Going Places (1974), with Patrick Dewaere and Miou-Miou; Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 (1976), with Robert De Niro and Dominique Sanda; François Truffaut’s The Last Metro (1980), with Catherine Deneuve; Andrzej Wajda’s Danton (1982); and, more recently, François Ozon’s Potiche, with Depardieu as a Socialist politician, no less, once again opposite Deneuve; Safy Nebbou’s Dumas, as mixed-race author Alexandre Dumas; and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, as the Cook.

Gérard Depardieu Rasputin movie image: B-Tween.

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