Depardieu Becomes Russian-?!
In a strange twist of fate, as other Russians are maligned for being dual citizens and seeking out ways to flee the Motherland, French actor Gerard Depardieu flocks to the forlorn land. When President Putin handed the actor his very own Russian Passport, reaction was mixed, from peasants hailing him, to Russian filmmakers villifying him.
The most outspoken was Stanislav Govorukhin, Putin’s chief of staff during the presidential elections, a parliamentarian and long-time film director.
“Just another drunk,” he said. “I don’t like ingratiation with foreigners. Of course, this is trickery.”
Govorukhin may be thinking of one of Depardieu’s film roles, where he plays a French waiter trying to get a Green Card in order to stay in America. He has a paper marriage with an American woman who needs to be married in order to secure her apartment in a swank building, and the two go to extreme lengths to make the ruse work, meanwhile detesting each other.
But Depardieu is intent on proving his love for all things Russian, vowing to learn the language and revel in its people and culture.
Not to mention revelling in Russia’s low taxes compared to France’s. I mean, a flat 13% income tax (Russia) versus 75% income tax on everything over $1.3 million/one million Euros (France’s proposed new rate, up from 41%). That we understand. However, it’s not so simple.
Obviously, no Russian tax advisor spoke with the aging actor. The Russian rate would apply solely to income earned there, not brought in from abroad, and he would need to live at least half of every year in Russia in order to establish his residency.
Alexandra’s advice? (Since he didn’t ask for it.)
“Nee spehsheetyeh, Gerard, nee spehsheetyeh” (Don’t hurry).
This is real life, not a film, so plan your moves wisely. You may want to be adopted, but Russia may not be the right place for that.
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