PARIS // The French actor and new Russian national, Gerard Depardieu, said yesterday he was applying for an Algerian passport and possibly others, describing himself as a "world citizen".
Depardieu, 64, one of the world's most prolific actors, acquired Russian nationality in January after getting into a fight with the French authorities over a new 75 per cent tax on the super-rich.
"I would like to have seven" passports, he told France's Journal du Dimanche. "I'm going to ask for an Algerian one and others as well," he said. "This will help me to avoid visas."
Depardieu, who has openly professed his admiration for Vladimir Putin, said the Russian president had "done a lot for culture".
The actor described himself as something of hell-raiser and "someone who is a bit of a rebel, who shakes up things and who is sometimes drunk".
"I think it's a bit of this hooligan spirit which pleases Putin," he said, adding however that he was a man with his "head on his shoulders".
A Paris court is to decide on Friday a drink-driving charge against Depardieu, who was arrested in November after falling off a motor scooter while more than three times over the legal alcohol limit.
Prosecutors have sought a €4,000 (Dh19,600) fine and penalty points.