Famous Russian Gérard Depardieu to play famous Russian Joseph Stalin

Russian acting giant takes on role of former head of the Soviet Union

Let’s play a game. Think of a famous Russian… other than Putin or Stalin or Lenin or Dostoevsky or Pavlova or Tolstoy or Stravinsky or Catherine the Great or Kandinsky or Laika the Space Dog or Rasputin.

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You’re thinking of Gérard Depardieu, right?

Yes, the wine loving actor might be known worldwide for his many, many roles in France – the country of his birth – but following a disagreement with the French government over taxes, he accepted citizenship of Russia back in 2013.

“I know Mr Putin well,” he said earlier this year. “I like him a lot and I still go to Russia.” Now the actor is apparently lined up to play another historic Russian.

No, not Catherine the Great.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depardieu will play Josef Stalin, the wartime leader and mass murderer, in an adaptation of the novel Le Divan de Staline (Stalin’s Sofa) from French author Jean-Daniel Baltassat. The plot centres on a young artist in the 1950s trying to sculpt a monument of Stalin under scrutiny from the KGB. 

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Little known fact: Stalin actually spoke with a strong French accent.