Veteran French actor Gerard Depardieu is shooting a FIFA football film in Paris, with Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction) and director Frederic Auburtin (The Man in the Iron Mask, The Bridge).
It is the first time he has worked in the country since he sparked a huge outcry by taking Russian nationality after disagreeing with France’s taxation policy.
The 64-year-old, who known for his roles in Life of Pi, Green Card and The Man in the Iron Mask, will film with Hollywood co-star Tim Roth in the French capital. Depardieu will play the football association’s creator Jules Rimet and the shoot will continue for approximately 20 days before filming starts in Brazil, Switzerland and Spain.
The news that he’s returned to Paris comes as a shock after the actor made global headlines following his fallout with the France over its 75 per cent tax rate on incomes over one million euros (£864,000).
“It’s the first time that I’m shooting again in France (since the controversy)”, he told AFP. Depardieu applied for Russian citizenship and was granted it after the fallout.
“I had refused all French films as people could not understand. I am Russian and a Belgian resident. I live in Russia, where I spent three-and-a-half months. I have firms in the countries in which I live because it’s more advantageous.
“In 15 years, I have spent maybe only five months in France. Since December 2012, a month-and-a-half… I am not escaping the taxman but the way governments use the money they take,” he continued.
The FIFA film is due for release before the 2014 World Cup.
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