Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Depardieu: I was acting, not drunk

From The [U.K.] Independent comes this piece by John Lichfield about Gerard's appearance last week on an British talk show:
19 September 2005

The French actor Gérard Depardieu has denied that he was drunk, rude or out of control on a BBC Television chat show last week.

Depardieu said he was only acting - and performing according to the expectations of the producers of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. If so, it was one of the star's best recent performances on screen.

Depardieu appeared to slur his speech, lit a cigarette and stubbed it out on the floor. He told viewers he drank "between four and eight bottles" of wine a day.

Asked how he would cook a hedgehog (the actor was in Britain to promote his cookery book), Depardieu responded: "You inflate it through its arse."

In an interview yesterday with Le Journal du Dimanche, Depardieu angrily dismissed criticisms of his performance in France. He also said that he had given up drinking six months ago.

"It was all fixed in advance," he said. "Ask the BBC how big their audience was. I can tell you that they were very happy.

"It's only the French who were shocked. We had a laugh and it was great. [The British] are people who have a great sense of humour and with whom you can arrange things like that. It is the French who are cretins."

Depardieu said that the show was pre-recorded so the BBC could have edited it. "They said, 'Show it all, it's so extraordinary."

He said he gave up drink six months ago. Reminded that he also seemed to be drunk on the Michael Field chat show in France in April, Depardieu responded: "Ah, yes, with Field, precisely because it was a French show, and that pissed me off, I was sloshed, that's true. Television in France bores the shit out of me."