The French Morning stylebook has a very strict rule when it comes to mentioning Gérard Depardieu: he is always to be referred to as “famous Russian actor Gérard Depardieu,” nothing more, nothing less.
Now the actor has been featured in a 30-second spot for luxury watch brand CVSTOS, crouching over a dead deer and holding a rifle, perhaps his most Russian role to date and evocative of his bear-hunting, horseback-riding, bare-chested pal Vladimir Putin.
“To hunt a deer,” Depardieu, famous Russian actor says, “You must always be on time.”
“Thanks to my CVSTOS, I was on time. And it was his time,” he says before making a kissing nose at the dead ruminant. “With CVSTOS, I am always on time.” Depardieu then sniffs a bullet for reasons unknown.
It’s no Paul Masson wine ad, and Depardieu is no Orson Welles—the ad was shot with the same cinematic techniques you find on YouTube channels dedicated to gun reviews—but it shows the Castelroussin at his most russe.
The commercial ends with Depardieu ditching the French with English subtitles. “CVSTOS… the Time Keeper,” he says, in English that could easily be a coded message from Putin to the Western World—we have your actors, he might be saying, thinking he’s a favorite son of the family when he’s only in possession of a second or third cousin. “Proud to be Russian,” he says over background music from a genre that can only be described as “hotel website landing page.” Is CVSTOS proud to be Russian? Is the watch? Is Depardieu?
The answer is likely all three.
Depardieu giving a slightly mad, Randy Quaid-style YouTube speech in Russian.
Depardieu became a Russian citizen in January of 2013. It is unknown if the controversial amendment regarding the stripping of binationals of their French citizenship will apply to the French-born actor, who has been known to cause terror on airplanes.