Gerard Depardieu’s Chechen cha-cha

25 February 2013

French-turned-Russian actor Gerard Depardieu has unveiled plans to make a film about Chechnya during a visit to the region over the weekend. Much to the delight of local residents, Depardieu took to the dance floor to perform the lezginka, the region’s highland dance, with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov at a banquet on Sunday night.

“I would really like to shoot a film here and show that it’s possible to do that here in Grozny,” Depardieu told NTV. Although he did not provide details about the film, he said would be returning to the autonomous republic in the North Caucasus soon to pursue the project.

Last week, Depardieu spent four days in his recently adopted hometown of Saransk in Mordovia, Central Russia, where he was given a flat on Democracy Street. He also plans to open a restaurant in the town to help him intergate with the local population. Depardieu attained Russian citizenship earlier this year after denouncing French Prime Minister Francois Hollande’s 75% supertax on incomes of over €1m. President Vladimir Putin responded by offering him a passport, which he swiftly accepted.

Russian officials have attempted to position Depardieu’s move to Russia as a sign of his love for the country but have largely failed due to widespread mockery across the blogosphere.