French actor Gérard Depardieu certainly knows how to antagonize the French president.
While major world powers including France announced on Tuesday that Russia was suspended from the G8 economic group over its seizure of Crimea, French actor Gérard Depardieu was showing no similar disapproval.
He is featured in an ad campaign for high-end Swiss watchmaker Cvstos sporting a timepiece with the Russian state seal emblazoned on its face. The photo posted to the company's Facebook page on March 7th carries the caption: “Proud to be Russian”.
The actor has held Russian citizenship since January 2013 when President Vladimir Putin personally bestowed it during Depardieu’s bitter feud with François Hollande’s government over its policies and taxes.
Since then the “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Green Card” star has been very vocal about his love of Russia and wrote a gushing letter to Russian TV station Channel One.
“I adore your country, Russia, your people, your history and your writers,” Depardieu wrote, according to the New York Times. “I love your president, Vladimir Putin, very much and it’s mutual.”
World leaders have been not been as friendly recently toward Putin, who has come under international condemnation for annexing the Crimea region of Ukraine.
Russia now faces economic sanctions and on Tuesday world leaders said they won't attend G8 economic summit talks that were set for June in Russia.
Depardieu has seen no such tumble in his career. His new film “Welcome to New York”, in which he plays fallen French leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn is due out soon.