Comparing Hollande and Putin, there is no comparison — Depardieu at the Berlinale


Le Figaro, February 19, 2016

Translated from French by Tom Winter, February 20, 2016

Gérard Depardieu tees off on Francois Hollande and the Oscars

Once again, the superstar of French cinema did not mince his words. At a press conference held on 19 February in conjunction with the Berlinale, he freely criticized the Cannes Film Festival, and the French president.

True to himself, Gerard Depardieu said what he thought. This time, he criticized pell-mell the Cannes Film Festival, the Oscars, and French President François Hollande, stating once again his “admiration for Putin” during a press conference on Friday February 19 at the Berlinale.

“It is true that in Berlin there is a big festival like Toronto, like Sundance. I wouldn’t say the same about Cannes,” commented the 67 year-old actor, who presented the comedy Saint-Amour directed by Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine.

- Advertisement -

“Earlier, there was the mummy Gilles Jacob [Cannes boss from 2001 to 2014, Ed]. Now it’s Pierre Lescure and Thierry Fremaux. So what’s different. This is not the same, and not cinema. Thank you. Word to the wise, hello!” continued the actor, referring to the current directors of the festival.

Avowing that he finds “the stories told in film more and more anecdotal and false,” Depardieu also mocked the Oscars and one of his favorites, The Revenant of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, mocking his famous epic shooting – with “caravans, heat [on the set] and all that.”

“How can you not feel more Russian than French with President we have in France?”

“They tell them,* “Go wallow in shit.” I’m sure the shit is perfumed […] It is a great comfort, cinema!” exclaimed the actor, assuring that he’d prefer “not comfortable themes.” “We will not disturb the Oscars, they are cushy with us. One is much too dirty for them,” he added.

Known for his sympathy for the Russian President, Gérard Depardieu also reiterated his admiration for Vladimir Putin, “for what he has done, and for the Russian people.” “No offense to some French intellectuals, including [his] friends who reproach [him].”

“I feel very Russian, even abroad. How not to feel more Russian than French with the President we have in France? For me, there’s no comparison,” said Gerard Depardieu, who acquired Russian citizenship in 2013 after a dispute with the government prompted by his decision to settle in Belgium for tax reasons.
On leur dit: Back to the subject of The Revenant, referring to the hardships of Leonardo DiCaprio in the making of The Revenant.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.