Steven Seagal is blowing up right now in Russia, a country that has recently welcomed the lumbering, aging American film star in ways his homeland hasn’t for decades.
On Friday, Vladimir Putin personally handed Seagal a Russian passport, giving the actor the documents he needs to travel as a bonafide Russian citizen. Shaking Seagal’s hand, who bowed in appreciation, Putin said he hoped the moment would encourage a “normalization” of U.S.-Russian relations.
Also on Friday, one of Russia’s biggest telecoms, Megafon, released a new commercial starring none other than Steven Seagal.
In the advertisement, set on the snowy streets of Moscow, a gang of hooligans tries to sneak up on a man wearing a fur coat and a traditional Russian hat with earflaps. Before the gang can attack, the man turns around and — surprise! — it’s action-star Steven Seagal, who raises a finger at the thugs, and proceeds to dictate a threat into a translation app on his mobile phone.
“Tender snow crunches under the feet … like the bones of my enemies. What is it you want, friends?” he says, as a robotic voice spits back the line in Russian.
“Guys! He’s one of ours!” a thug says excitedly to the group. The gang leader then raises his hands in retreat and the men leave.
Next, a narrator delivers the commercial’s slogan: “Our Russian 4G Internet from Megafon — the fastest mobile Internet in Russia.” The narrator puts special emphasis on the word “our,” alluding to Seagal’s new Russian citizenship.
Before the ad is over, Seagal returns to the screen one more time to wish the viewers at home a happy holidays, this time in Russian.