French actor and expat Gerard Depardieu seems to be adapting to his new home, Russia, by forcing some roots into the frozen ground.
Depardieu, famous for movies such as 'Green Card' and 'Cyrano de Bergerac' has infamously said au revior to his homeland of France after he refused to pay taxes to the government, which he said was trying to "punish his success." This was following a history of family tragedy, substance abuse and legal troubles.
Gerard has since hopped the fence, staying shortly in Belgium, which was presumably too 'French' for his liking, and eventually ending up as a Russian citizen, and personal pal of Vladimir Putin (who he defends publicly.)
Depardieu, despite having a name most Russians might struggle to pronounce, has decided to make the best of living in one of the most inhospitable environments in the world, and resides in Saransk - the capital of the Republic of Mordovia, one of the many semi-autonomous states of the Russian Federation. As far as Russia goes, Saransk is a pretty nice place, being located on the 'less cold' end of the Russian climate scale (which to Russians, might as well mean 'tropical.') It's a small cultural center with several theaters and even an opera house - meaning that an affluent individual such as Gerard will undoubtedly fit right in with the rest of the highbrowed intelligentsia.
Eager to cast off his chains of French oppression, Gerard has started a number of businesses, including a restaurant chain, creatively titled 'Gerard' as well as a line of... kitchen utensils. Well, where there's a market, there's a buck to be made, or at least some rubles.
Gerard holds a glass of wine hostage, showcasing the versatility of his cutlery. Good for both home invasions and tough red meat!
Perhaps of most interest (and certainly most importantly) is Gerard's upcoming line of 'environmentally friendly Vodkas.' While we're not sure exactly what goes into the Vodka making process, we're pretty sure that 'potatoes' are about as environmentally friendly as it gets - though we're interested to hear how Gerard intends to make Vodka even more 'pure' (soy potatoes would be our best guess.)
The actor tells Russian news agency ITAR-TASS of his booze brand, "This will be my first experience in producing heavy liquor, and I hope it will be successful." Whether or not his attempts are indeed successful remains to be seen. But he is in the right country for feedback. After all, no one knows Vodka like the Russians do - and he's got a country full of them who are eager to run his product through the gauntlet.
We do not currently know what Gerard will be titling his Vodka - presumably something edgy and interesting like 'Gerard.'
It's at least refreshing to see that Gerard is attempting to blend in. Gerard admits that he would like to give a preference to vinticultural pursuits - but that's just the soft, fuzzy, bourgeoisie Frenchman inside him trying to get out. No doubt extensive exposure to Vodka will drown out his weak wine-loving tendencies in due time.