Gérard Depardieu has made headlines
for things other than his acting before, but his decision to move to Belgium has taken the media – and French political circles – by storm. Although it is unlikely to affect his career, the Oscar nominee, in a letter published in today’s Journal Du Dimanche, says he is returning his French passport after being called “pathetic” by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. The new French government has imposed a controversial 75% income tax on individuals earning more than 1M euros and Depardieu recently purchased a property across the French border in Néchin, Belgium where taxes are lower. This prompted Ayrault to tell France 2 television last week, “I find it quite pathetic to go just over the border. All this in order to not pay taxes.” Depardieu has inqured about obtaining a Belgian passport, the mayor of Néchin said Sunday, which would normally allow him to continue working in France under European Union rules. The actor is France’s best paid and perhaps most prolific. For 2012 and 2013, there are at least 10 films on his dance card and he may play a French politician embroiled in a sex scandal for Abel Ferrara later this year.