Gerard Depardieu


Guess you could say Gérard Depardieu got his green card.

The French film legend officially registered as a resident of the Russian city of Saransk on Saturday. This is the final step in his quest to become a Russian citizen after he renounced his French citizenship amid a dispute over taxes.

Per the Christian Science Monitor, Depardieu took an apartment on Democracy Street in the heart of downtown Saransk in the Republic of Mordovia. The move was required so he could provide a home address, thereby allowing him to receive key public services including access to schools and health care in his newly adopted country.

It also comes a little more than six weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin granted him citizenship after the Life of Pi actor suggested he was willing to flee his native France because of what he claims are excessive taxes on his assets.

At a ceremony attended by media and hundreds of locals, Depardieu praised his newly adopted town and announced he was looking to open a restaurant at some point.

"Glory to Saransk; glory to Mordovia! Glory to Russia!" he was quoted as saying while waving his new Russian passport.

After touring the area, including a monastery, poultry farm and cheese factory, the actor then flew to Chechnya where he stayed with Ramzan Kadyrov. If that name sounds familiar, Kadyrov is the same reputed strongman who invited Hilary Swank and Jean-Claude Van Damme to a birthday bash, which led to much criticism for the stars by human rights activists two years ago. Swank later released a statement of regret.

While there, Depardieu said he wanted to make a documentary film about the region.

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