Depardieu’s next project: Making organic vodka

French actor Gérard Depardieu, Russia's most famous new celebrity citizen, wants to open a distillery there to make organic vodka. His plan comes just two weeks after annoucing he intends to open a restaurant in Moscow.

Depardieu's next project: Making organic vodka
Gerard Depardieu is known for his thirst for spirits now he wants to try his hand at making them. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

The flamboyant French-born actor, who already owns several vineyards, declared: "I know more people like to drink wine than strong liquour, but vodka is a party drink."

"This will be my first venture into strong alcohol, and I hope it works," he told the Itar-Tass news agency on Monday, two weeks after revealing that he wanted to open his own restaurant – "Gérard" – in Moscow.

Depardieu is perhaps better known for his thirst for spirits than his expertise in making them.

He missed the premiere of his latest film, Welcome To New York, where he plays disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, at the Edinburgh Film Festival last month after spending an evening sampling local whiskies and "attacking a haggis" on Scotland's Isle of Syke.

Depardieu, 65, also wants to open another restaurant serving Franco-Russian cuisine, as well as an arts centre, in Saransk, the capital of Mordovia, where he is now officially domiciled.

The bon vivant already owns a string of restaurants in France and Belgium.

Depardieu took Russian citizenship in 2013 after quitting France in protest at President François Hollande's now stalled plan to impose a 75 percent tax on the highest earners.

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France’s Gérard Depardieu lashes out at George Clooney

Maverick French actor Gérard Depardieu Friday took aim at the Oscars, "The Revenant" and George Clooney, criticising Hollywood for its "comfort" bubble.

France's Gérard Depardieu lashes out at George Clooney
Depardieu and Clooney. Photos: AFP
He rejected the pomp surrounding US cinema, saying he preferred to get into the gritty side of movies.
“When I think about the Oscars, with 'The Revenant', the caravans, the warmth and all of that. We tell them: go roll in shit. I am sure that shit is fragrant,” he said at a press conference during the Berlin film festival, referring to the movie staring Leonardo DiCaprio.
“That's the fabulous comfort of cinema. I like things that are not comfortable, even if I scream all the time. I'm shouting all the time over a film. I start by saying 'no, nein'. And then I make it. That's how it is, that's life.”
Depardieu, 67, also took a dig at Clooney over his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when the Hollywood star offered to lend a hand solving Europe's refugee crisis.
“We see these Syrian refugees, and George Clooney went to see Madame Merkel. I think that didn't go well. Today, we want to be an actor, a politician, an ecologist,” he mocked.
Depardieu is no stranger to controversy, and has even sparked an outcry in his native France for taking Russian nationality after befriending President Vladimir Putin.
The actor, who was presenting his new film “Saint-Amour” in Berlin, reiterated that he has “a lot of admiration for Vladimir Putin, for what he has done, and for the Russian people”.
He acknowledged that his pro-Russian stance displeases his “some French intellectuals, including my friends”.
But he said: “I believe what I see.”
The Berlin film festival ends on Sunday.