Prolific French actor Gérard Depardieu has announced his desire to learn Russian and play the role of Ivan the Terrible in a film.
The actor, who gained Russian citizenship in 2013, made the statement during an interview on Russian television. He noted that he had already had the opportunity to play Ivan the Terrible in an opera production, for which he was able to simply learn the Russian words phonetically, without learning their meaning.
“The only thing left for me to do is to gather my strength and learn Russian,” said Mr Depardieu, expressing his readiness to learn the language in preparation for such a film role.
He also commented on the prevalence of foreign films in Russian cinemas, expressing his belief in the need both to raise the quality of Russian cinema and instill a love for Russian cinema among citizens.
Ivan the Terrible ruled in the 16th century as the first tsar of All Russia, overseeing its progression from a medieval state to an empire. He is remembered as an impressive but tyrannical figure.