Gérard Depardieu: the glory, the escapades and the shadows of a sacred monster of cinema

The indictment for “rape” and “sexual assault” in December of the actor had a worldwide resonance. Just like his career.

Indicted for “rape” and “sexual assault” against a young actress – facts that the actor has always denied – Gérard Depardieu is a sacred monster of French cinema. His career, spanning more than fifty years, is a huge range of roles, which he has played with equal fervor. The actor’s life, however, is full of scandals and excess.

“The man is dark but the actor is immense”, says of him Catherine Deneuve, his partner, among others, in The Last Metro by François Truffaut. The actor’s instinctive play and bulimia of work – more than two hundred films in cinema and television – make him one of the best known and most respected French actors in the world. This reputation, Gérard Depardieu deserves it, he who has interpreted – with brio – most of the great heroes of national literature, from Cyrano de Bergerac to Jean Valjean des Miserable, through Edmond Dantès in the count of Monte Cristo. A challenge all the more difficult to take up as Josée Dayan’s staging for these last two films was not really conducive to performance.

Born on December 27, 1948 in Châteauroux, Gérard Depardieu experienced a troubled adolescence, marked by delinquency and odd jobs. The theater, it is in Paris that he discovers it, in 1963. Two years later, he begins the cinema, then the theater and the television. In 1974, The Valseuses by Bertrand Blier reveals it to the public. Other roles will follow, notably in 1900 by Bernardo Bertolucci (1975), with Robert de Niro, his American alter ego, The last metro (1980) by François Truffaut or the successful comedies by Francis Veber as The goat (nineteen eighty one).

Serial scandals

In the early 1990s, Depardieu tried his hand at Hollywood cinema – Green Card in 1990 and 1492 in 1992 – and becomes “Dipardiou”. Green Card earned him, in January 1991, a Golden Globe for best comedy actor. But his American career came to a halt after the publication, in February 1991, of an interview with Times, conducted in French, and in which the actor explains having witnessed a rape at the age of nine. The magazine will write “participate” and not “observe”, causing an uproar in the United States.

Marked by several “flops”, the end of the 1990s and the 2000s will also see the actor play in successful films, such as the series Asterix and Obelix and 36 Quai des Goldsmiths. In 2014, after making headlines in Welcome to New York , inspired by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair, he returned through the front door to the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, with Valley of Love by Guillaume Nicloux.

In the city, Gérard Depardieu recognized four children, two of his first wife, Elisabeth, the actors Julie and Guillaume, who died in 2008, as well as Roxane and Jean, born of two other relationships. Her passionate relationship with Carole Bouquet hit the headlines for more than ten years.

Known for his taste for good food and his passion for the vine – he owns vineyards in France and abroad and has invested in restaurants in Paris – Gérard Depardieu is also illustrated by his outrageous behavior, some of which led to scandals making him a regular in the news section: in 2005, he knocks out a paparazzi in Florence, urinates in the cabin of a Paris-Dublin flight in 2011, hits a motorist in the middle of Paris in 2012.

Russian period

At the end of 2012, he once again made headlines by announcing that he “Returns” his passport to protest against the taxation of the richest. After opting for tax exile in Belgium, he finally acquired Russian citizenship. “I find it normal to pay, but not to idiots who think they are doing good”, he declared in 2014 to Point.

From then on, Gérard Depardieu continued to praise his new homeland, Russia, a “Great democracy”, and full of praise for Vladimir Putin, whom he compared to Pope John Paul II … or to himself. In Monster, a book of black and bitter secrets published in the fall of 2017, the actor returns to his so-called disenchantment with France, saying he prefers “To be free as French”. “But that doesn’t mean I deny this country”, he adds immediately.

At the beginning of February, while he was promoting, on France 5, his latest book Elsewhere, published in October 2020 and at the top of Amazon France sales since Tuesday evening, he loses his temper with Claire Chazal who questions him about human rights in Russia and Vladimir Poutin. “Ah because you think he’s a Hitler?” He did what? Burnt offerings? ”, he got angry, before adding: “I never get involved in politics when I am in a foreign country”.

SEE ALSO – Non Stop People – Gérard Depardieu accused of rape: why he was indicted two years after the alleged facts?


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