Depardieu Biography Shows How the Actor Overcame Poverty

The Christian Science Monitor, April 18, 1994 | Go to article overview

Depardieu Biography Shows How the Actor Overcame Poverty


The entertainment-trade publication Variety recently had a Page 1 story about Gerard Depardieu, with the headline, "Le Cinema Est Moi, Dit Girard." The actor, who has starred in at least 90 films, has come to symbolize France's movie industry. His English-language films have included "Green Card," "Christopher Columbus: 1492," which received mixed reviews in the United States.

A new biography, "Depardieu," written and published in French by Paul Chutkow, shows how the actor overcame neglect, poverty, and a humiliating speech impediment to become one of France's greatest film stars.

A bearlike man with boundless energy, Depardieu emerges in the biography as a survivor, an endearingly complex man who grabbed misfortune and crafted it into genius.

Chutkow wrote the book as a collaborative effort.

"Gerard cooperated fully, but he did not have the right of approval and he did not earn a cent," Chutkow said in a telephone interview. "I had carte blanche. He never interfered and only read the manuscript once it was completed."

The two spent hundreds of hours together at Depardieu's home outside Paris and on location. …

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