VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise) in the News: The Moscow News

Depardieu and Hurley take Grozny

by Vladimir Kozlov at 27/05/2013 19:47

Reports are streaming out of Chechnya about French actor – and new Russian citizen – Gerard Depardieu, who is working on two films set in the North Caucasus republic.

Depardieu arrived last week in Grozny to begin work on the thriller “Turquoise” alongside British actress Elizabeth Hurley. Directed by Philippe Martinez, “Turquoise” is filming in the Chechen capital and Moscow. According to the film’s producer, Depardieu plays a gangster recently released from prison. The character travels to Moscow to find his son’s killer, with the help of Hurley’s femme fatale.


Hurley told reporters in Grozny that filming in the republic is “a great adventure.” “When I was told that the movie would be filmed in Chechnya, I had to take a very deep breath,” she said. “But then I realized it was a very good opportunity for me to come to a part of the world that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected to visit.”

Hurley has posted photos on Instagram of herself with the republic’s controversial head, Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of human rights abuses.

Depardieu visited Chechnya earlier this year after controversially receiving Russian citizenship and residency in Mordovia’s capital, Saransk, where he is now registered as an “individual entrepreneur.” Kadyrov also granted him an apartment in Grozny.

Earlier this month, Le Monde reported that Depardieu is also to play Chechnya’s former president Akhmat Kadyrov, Ramzan Kadyrov’s father, who was killed in a terrorist attack in 2004.

However, Depardieu’s friend Nikolai Borodachev, director of the state film archive Gosfilmfond, corrected the report, saying the actor will play not Kadyrov, but a regular Chechen in a film with a tentative title “Serdtse Otsa” (A Father’s Heart). “This is a totally different story, more like an action thriller,” he told Izvestia. “Depardieu will be playing a positive Chechen character.”

The film is centered on Chechnya’s reconstruction in the wake of the wars of the mid-1990s – early 2000s.

VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise) in the News: NY Times

Depardieu, Newly a Russian, Will Play Frenchman in Chechnya

Musa Sadulayev/Associated Press


Gerard Depardieu attended a news conference in Grozny, the formerly war-torn Chechen capital, on Tuesday.


Published: May 21, 2013

MOSCOW — Gérard Depardieu may have renounced his French nationality as a protest against high taxes and became a citizen of Russia instead, but on Tuesday he said he would play a Frenchman in a movie to be filmed in Moscow and in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya.

World Twitter Logo.

Mr. Depardieu, who has declared the city of Saransk, about 370 miles east of Moscow in the Mordovia region, as his new home, held a news conference on Tuesday in Grozny to promote the film, which will be called “Turquoise” and will also star the British actress Elizabeth Hurley.


Grozny is better known as the center of two bloody wars fought against Russia by Muslim separatists than as a glamorous celebrity hangout.

But it seemed to enjoy an odd, fleeting paparazzi moment on Tuesday as Mr. Depardieu and Ms. Hurley appeared with the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, a strongman supported by the Kremlin who has been accused of human rights abuses. Ms. Hurley posted messages about the event on Twitter and posted three pictures via Instagram.

Mr. Depardieu noted Chechnya’s violent reputation, at one point telling a journalist: “You see, it’s O.K. They don’t kill you,” according to Nikolaus von Twickel, a correspondent for the German news agency DPA, who attended the event.

At another point, Mr. Depardieu made it clear that his strident antitax sentiments had not eased, despite his qualification as a Russian tax resident for a flat 13 percent income tax levy. Speaking in English, he used an expletive to describe taxes in Britain, which he said had prompted film directors to leave that country.

He also offered gratitude to Mr. Kadyrov, who has given him an apartment in Grozny, and kind words for Chechnya and the Chechen people.

He said that Chechens should not feel any responsibility for the April 15 bombings of the Boston Marathon, even though the two suspects in the attack, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were of Chechen heritage. “I agree with Ramazan Kadyrov that the Tsarnaev brothers have a Chechen family name but American education,” he said, according to the Chechen Republic press office. “You don’t bear any responsibility for this.”

And while Mr. Depardieu recently announced plans to open a restaurant in Saransk, he offered high praise for the cuisine in Chechnya, as well as perhaps a small dig at his estranged homeland.

“I am familiar with the national dishes of many nations and countries,” he said, according to the Chechen press office. “And you know, in my opinion, the best cuisines are in Chechnya, India and Great Britain.”

But the theme of the day was clearly the occasionally transient nature of national identity. And in a sense, Mr. Depardieu noted, portraying a Frenchman in Chechnya would bring him full circle. He recalled, the Chechen press office said, that the 19th-century French writer Alexandre Dumas had once called Chechens the French of the Caucasus.


This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 21, 2013

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described a character that Gérard Depardieu is playing in a movie being filmed in Moscow and Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. According to a treatment on the director’s Web site, Mr. Depardieu will play a Frenchman, not a Chechen. The article also incorrectly reported the number of films he is making there; at his news conference on Tuesday, Mr. Depardieu referred only to one film, not two.

VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise) in the News: The Times

Elizabeth Hurley to star with Gérard Depardieu

Elizabeth Hurley will play Alexandra Ivanova, a nightclub owner
Rob Rich/Splash News
Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley will play Alexandra Ivanova, a nightclub owner Rob Rich/Splash News

Published at 12:01AM, May 14 2013

When Gérard Depardieu received his Russian passport in January, he declared his love for the country’s “people, its history, its writers” and praised the population for “your culture, your intelligence”.

Now, as a fitting token of his gratitude, the cinema giant and tax exile is bringing Elizabeth Hurley to Russia. She will travel to Moscow this week to film opposite Mr Depardieu, she has announced.


The rest of the article may be viewed here:

Elizabeth Hurley will star alongside Gerard Depardieu as ALEXANDRA IVANOVA in VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise).

The stunningly beautiful English actress Elizabeth Hurley is starring opposite Gerard Depardieu in VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise). Ms. Hurley is taking on the role of ALEXANDRA IVANOVA, the fiercely loyal owner of a sophisticated, exclusive Moscow club. IVANOVA is VIKTOR LAMBERT ‘s (Depardieu) one true love and former partner-in-crime who stands beside him as he seeks revenge against his son’s murderers.


Ms. Hurley is best known for her roles in Austin Powers and most recently her role as Diana Payne in Gossip Girl. For the last 16 years she has been one of Estée Lauder’s most prominent faces, appearing in advertisements for their perfumes and cosmetics. Ms. Hurley is an entrepreneur with a line of elegant beach attire and is a very active philanthropist who is a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Hop, Skip and Jump Foundation and the Shane Warne Foundation, among others.

Ms. Hurley and her fiancée Mr. Shane Warne will be hosting Cricket for Kids to raise money for both British and Australian children in need immediately upon wrapping her filming of TURQUOISE.

You can follow her on Twitter to keep up with her during the filming of her role as Alexandra Ivanova.

Arnaud Frilley, Producer of Raspoutine will produce VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise)

Arnaud Frilley - Producer

Arnaud Frilley – Producer

Arnaud Frilley is a French film producer whose last film, “Raspoutine,” starring Gérard Depardieu, was distributed in more than 40 countries. His Russian origins created in him a love and taste for developing films that explore significant historical figures. Arnaud specializes in the production of films in the former Soviet Republics, with cinematographers from Russia, Kazakstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan… Arnaud Frilley is also one of the senior managers of the French group TITRA FILMS. He speaks Russian and is passionate about Russian art.

Philippe Martinez helms new action thriller – VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise)

Director - Philippe Martinez

Director – Philippe Martinez

VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise) is a true and pure action movie, yet the main character Victor Lambert is so strong and so sensitive. I was thinking of Gérard Depardieu when I wrote this film. He was my inspiration when I wrote this script. VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise) is a passionate crime noir thriller, this is the kind of film that I love the most. I wanted to create a character who was ruthless in his struggle to avenge his son’s death.


Moscow, this beautiful city, is similar to the main character in my film: grand, artistic, romantic, and formidable. I want to show the beauty and richness of Moscow’s art through sensuality, particularly in the scenes between Viktor and Alexandra, because Moscow is bubbling with creative energy and warmth. Moscow, with its architecture, museums, and galleries offers a stunning setting which is essential to the film, since our hero loves art. Its ambiance allows this tragedy to achieve its full aesthetic potential. It is a tragedy which nonetheless ends well because love saves Victor and offers him a new chance, a new start in life. As a director, I am fortunate to have Gerard Depardieu, an extraordinary actor that I wanted to do this film… a film legend. I’m honored that I will shoot in Moscow, a sublime city. How could I not be inspired? What else? You will soon see … on the big screen …

About the Director

Philippe Martinez began his career as director of the Théâtre de l’Odéon in Marseille, France. He then became a film producer in the United States, and produced more than 30 films including “Modigliani” with Andy Garcia, “Land of the Blind” with Ralf Fiennes and Donald Sutherland, “I Could Never Be Your Woman” with Michelle Pfeiffer.

In 2005 he directed “Wake of Death” with Jean Claude Van Damme, which was a huge commercial success and earned him an enthusiastic reception from critics. He also became an international film distributor and signed distribution agreements in North America with the prestigious MGM.
In 2010, he produced “Game of Death“ with Wesley Snipes for Sony, and directed “The Chaos Experiment“ with Val Kilmer.

In the United States, all the films he has produced have been distributed by MGM, SONY, THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, VIACOM and MIRAMAX. In early 2012, he decided to devote his career to writing and directing and wrote VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise). Philippe is a graduate Of The National Academy Of Dramatic Art in Marseille.

Gerard Depardieu set to star in Philippe Martinez helmed “VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise).”

VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise) Star – Gerard Depardieu

VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise) Star – Gerard Depardieu

Legendary film star and newly minted citizen of the Russian Federation Gerard Depardieu will star in action director Philippe Martinez’s “VIKTOR (a.k.a. Turquoise)”

Gérard Depardieu is Victor Lambert, a big hearted former gangster who was notorious for his art heists. After 15 years behind bars in France,Viktor Lambert returns to Moscow, the city where he once lived and still passionately loves. He is a man with a broken heart who embarks on a ruthless war–a manhunt in the Moscow night– to avenge the death of his son who was killed by diamond smugglers. Viktor is helped by his life-long love and former accomplice, ALEXANDRA IVANOVA.

It is not necessary to introduce Gérard Depardieu, French and Russian actor extraordinaire, whose performances have secured him a place in our culture as a screen legend. The excess and genius he brought to his roles as Cyrano, Colonel Chabert, Vatel, Rasputin, Danton, and as Obelix and many others have earned him all the honors of the Seventh Art and the eternal love of the public. With his explosive power, sensitivity, generosity, and his taste for art, Gérard Depardieu inherently brings authenticity, tenderness, pain, and strength to Viktor’s character.