Gerard Depardieu takes aim at Clooney, 'The Revenant' in Berlin

Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:52pm EST
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By Tara Oakes

BERLIN (Reuters) - Gerard Depardieu lambasted the Hollywood star system for playing it too safe, and chided George Clooney for getting involved in politics, as the veteran French actor appeared at the Berlin film festival on Friday to promote his new movie.

Depardieu, who was speaking at a post-screening press conference for his film "Saint Amour" in which he plays a bull farmer, noted that Clooney had met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin last week to discuss the refugee crisis.

"I saw that Mr George Clooney wanted to see Mrs Merkel. I worry that it went badly," he said, adding: "It’s good that now you can be an actor and a ecologist and a politician, you can do everything."

Depardieu also took a potshot at "The Revenant", starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a frontiersman who survives a mauling by a bear and makes a superhuman trek in the snowy wilderness. The film is considered a strong entry in the Academy Awards and the vehicle that may win DiCaprio his first Oscar for best actor.

"That’s a bit different from what you get in general in cinema at the moment," Depardieu said, referring to the gritty setting for the film and reports that the actors had to work in very trying conditions.

"Because if I take the Oscars, 'The Revenant', with the production crew behind and the heating (on set) and all that 'go and cover yourself in shit' - but I’m sure the 'shit' is perfumed - and you're in this mud, which is perfumed and isn't cold, it's heated," Depardieu said.

Asked about his having accepted Russian citizenship granted him by President Vladimir Putin in 2013 at a time when Depardieu was chafing at the prospect of higher French taxes, the actor said these days when he travels he feels that he is Russian.

"I feel very Russian even abroad because I am outside of France, a lot," he said.   Continued...

Actor Gerard Depardieu arrives for the screening of the movie 'Saint Amour' at the 66th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Stefanie Loos