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Depardieu says the French have betrayed him

June 29, 2013, 20:19 UTC+3

"I consider myself to be Russian or Russian-French at least,” Depardieu said with a smile

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MOSCOW, June 29 (Itar-Tass) - French actor Gerard Depardieu who was granted Russian citizenship this winter presented a film called “Rasputin” in which he appears in the title role. The film is to close the 35th Moscow International Film Festival on Saturday evening. Depardieu also met journalists.

Depardieu appeared in front of journalists in dark trousers, a dark grey shirt and sun glasses. “I would like to apologize for being late. The thing is that I am shooting in another project here. I have met may film directors,” the actor said.

"The French have betrayed me. I consider myself to be Russian or Russian-French at least,” Depardieu said with a smile.

He said that he had made five or seven joint films with Russian film directors. He added that “Rasputin” had had great success on French television. "I have always dreamed of such a role,” Depardieu said, adding that the film’s original version was more lyrical and academic than the one which is going to close the Moscow Film Festival. He also praised the film’s brilliant cast. Depardieu said that he had never played with such top class actors before.

Rasputin” has been shown at many international film festivals but in a different version. The one which the audience will see tonight was made by Irakliy Kvirikadze.

Other actors include Fanny Arden (Empress Alexandra), Vladimir Mashkov (Nicholas II) as well as Konstantin Khabenskiy, Kseniya Rappoport, Irina Alfyorova, Anna Mikhalkova, Filipp Yankovsky, Daniil Kozlovsky, etc.

Depardieu said that he devoted his work in the film to Nikolai Borodachyov, the head of the State Film Fund of Russia.

The French movie star also told the news conference in Moscow that he considered Russia to be a fast-developing country and that was the reason behind his decision to apply for the Russian citizenship.

"I am a citizen of the world, and I am more interested in people rather than in presidents. For example, I know Mr. Putin but I do not know Mr. Limonov,“ Depardieu said. He added that Eduard Limonov was unlikely to be useful to Russia even if he would have risen to power. “Putin is a strong leader and a person whom Russia needs,” Depardieu said.

"I grabbed at an opportunity to become a citizen of Russia because everybody has the right to choose a type of freedom which he likes. The world made me a laughing stock. But I told it that it could go on laughing,” the actor said.

"The Russian economy is fast growing, and you have a wonderful country,” Depardieu emphasized.

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