The Kremlin has cast Gerard Depardieu in one of the most surprising roles of his life – as a new Russian citizen.
The announcement Thursday that President Vladimir Putin has approved Depardieu’s application for citizenship is almost a real-life analogue to the French actor’s 1990 comedy “Green Card,” in which his character enters into a sham marriage in order to work in the United States.
But in this version, taxes appear to be at the heart of the matter. Depardieu has waged a battle against a proposed super tax on millionaires in his native country.
French President Francois Hollande plans to raise the tax on earned income above $1.3 million to 75 percent from the current 41 percent, while Russia has a flat 13-percent tax rate.
A representative for the former Oscar nominee declined to say whether he had accepted the Russian offer.
Boyz II Men will be playing Vegas
The R&B group Boyz II Men is headed to Las Vegas.
The 1990s slow-jammers announced a headlining residency Thursday. They will perform weekend shows at the Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage starting March 1.
They will perform 78 weekend shows through the end of the year.
‘Star Wars’ creator engaged
“Star Wars” creator George Lucas is engaged.
A spokeswoman for Lucasfilm Ltd. said the 68-year-old director is engaged to 43-year-old investment firm president Mellody Hobson. No other details were provided.
Hobson serves as chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation and is a financial contributor to ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Lucas helped to launch the modern blockbuster age with his “Star Wars” sagas and “Indiana Jones” adventures. The original “Star Wars” still stands as the No. 2 film in terms of tickets sold domestically, behind only “Gone With the Wind.”
Lucas has three children: Amanda, Katie and Jett. He was previously married to film editor Marcia Lucas from 1969 to 1983.
The birthday bunch
Actress Barbara Rush is 86. Actress Dyan Cannon is 76. Author-historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is 70. Actress Ann Magnuson is 57. Country singer Patty Loveless is 56. Rock singer Michael Stipe is 53. Actor Patrick Cassidy is 51. Actor Dave Foley is 50. Actress Julia Ormond is 48.