Award-winning actor Gerard Depardieu has said he is ready to die for Russia, the country whose citizenship he adopted in 2013 to avoid paying higher taxes in his native France, a report said.
"I am ready to die for Russia because the people there are strong. I absolutely do not want to die a fool in modern-day France," Depardieu was cited as saying Monday by the Voici news site, quoting an interview with Vanity Fair.
Depardieu, 66, became a Russian citizen in 2013 after President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order granting him a passport. The actor has since embraced his new homeland, starring in a Russian sitcom called Zaitsev+1 and working with luxury watchmaker Cvstos to produce a line called "Proud to Be Russian."
"I don't believe in myself because I don't share the values that I was raised on. I don't feel French," Depardieu told Vanity Fair, Voici reported.
Depardieu, who once boasted to the So Film magazine that he could drink up to 14 bottles of wine a day, also indicated that he was not afraid of death in the interview with Vanity Fair, which will appear in the magazine's June issue.
"Sometimes at night in my bed, I want to fall asleep forever," he was cited as saying by Voici. "I have experienced everything. There are not many people who can say that, [so] I can die now."
Meanwhile, Depardieu is reportedly planning a concert in war-torn eastern Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Culture Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said Depardieu was planning to give a free concert, the Russian News Service reported.