It’s official. Gérard Depardieu will no longer be best known for Cyrano de Bergerac, the romantic comedy Green Card or playing Katherine Heigl‘s dad in My Father the Hero. Or maybe the award-winning French actor would like us to forget that time his prostate problems forced him to take a wicked
oui wee in the middle of airplane aisle. Because, honestly, anything is better than that image.
Enter Monsieur Depardieu himself, who would like us all to know that he’s more than just the aforementioned descriptors. Gérard has a new autobiography called Ca C’est Fait Comme Ca (It Happened Like That or That’s The Way It Was, depending on your translation) and boy, oh boy, does he have something to say. You know those celebs who have written memoirs, even though they seem too young to have lived a life worth documenting, or they seemingly haven’t led a noteworthy life? Yeah, that’s not the case with Gérard, who can fill hundreds of pages with his experiences.
He was a teenage escort
“I’ve known since I was very young that I please homosexuals,” Depardieu writes, saying that when men attempted to pick him up, “I would ask them for money.” And robbing his clients provided an additional source of income: “At 20 the thug in me was alive and kicking. I would rip some of them off…beat up some bloke and leave with all his money.”
He was a thief
Depardieu writes that he spent three weeks in jail when he was 16, for stealing a car. He later became a pickpocket, stealing watches and money from students during the May 1968 anti-government protests in France.
His mother tried to kill him in the womb with a knitting needle
Depardieu recalls his mother’s repeated story of her attempts to abort him, saying, “And to think I almost killed you.”
He’s pals with Vladmir Putin
“We could have both become hoodlums,” he writes. “I think he immediately liked my hooligan side…the fact that I had occasionally been picked up off the pavement dead drunk. Like with me, nobody would have betted a penny on him when he was 15.”
And they’re still pen pals
“It’s very easy,” he said of writing letters to Putin. “I speak, there’s a guy who taps it out in French then translates it into Russian and it arrives on Putin’s desk. I send him letters that tell him about everything. He’s like an old chum. It amuses him and he replies.”
He has a love for the bottle— er, bottles
The controversial actor boasted in a recent interview that he drinks. A lot. He starts with champagne in the morning and winds down the night with whisky. He insists he isn’t an alcoholic; rather, simply a man with fears. “I’m obsessed with the racket in my body, the beating of my heart, the gurgling of my intestines, my joints cracking,” he writes. “It’s become a phobia to the point that if I’m alone in a hotel I must drink so as not to hear it, so as not to go mad from it. I can’t get to sleep unless I am dead drunk.”
Au revoir, France!
In 2012, he renounced his French citizenship and moved to Belgium to escape France’s high taxes. Putin signed an Executive Order the following year, granting Russian citizenship to Depardieu who is now a registered resident of Saransk. The actor is also a cultural ambassador for Montenegro.
He used to rob graves
In the book, he admitted to going to cemeteries with an acquaintance to dig up newly buried bodies and steal their shoes and jewelry.
No word on an English release of the book, so this might just be for people whose French is better than ours. Either way, it sounds like quite the tome — though we’re not sure if it does the actor justice.