French actor Gérard Depardieu has appeared in many great films over the years. Now, however, he seems to have taken a starring role in a farce: his own life.
Incidents involving weeing into a bottle on a plane and, more recently, throwing water at waiters have hit the headlines across the world.
That he has moved one kilometre over the border into Belgium to avoid a ‘wealth tax’ in France is also common knowledge. He has, however, endeared himself to the locals by buying a high-class chambres d’hôtes there and, more recently, a wine shop. Both have succeeded in attracting tourists, thereby boosting the local economy.
But last year he took Russian citizenship and now he is even appearing in a Russian sitcom – and all without being able to speak Russian.
He plays the part of the father of one of the lead characters, a young guy who suffers from a split personality.
Depardieu’s approach to his role as Jora in the hit TV show Zaïtsev +1 is to speak his lines in French. Only for his major scenes will he speak Russian – all from cue cards. His voice is then dubbed by a Russian actor.
You can’t help thinking that the makers of the series would have done better to build in a French back story for his character, which would have allowed him to speak in heavily accented Russian.
Not to do so seems a waste of such a huge international star.