Gerard Depardieu 'in Russia to play Rasputin'

5th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

French actor Gerard Depardieu has started filming in Russia for his role as Grigory Rasputin in a France-Russia co-production about the mysterious Tsarist monk, producers said Tuesday.

"Depardieu, who is playing Rasputin, started filming on Monday in the village of Malye Karely" outside the city of Arkhangelsk in the Far North of Russia, said Anastasia Kovtun of production company B-Twin.

The firm is producing the film along with the public channels France-3 and Rossiya. The location, the site of an outdoor museum, has been chosen for its closeness to the atmosphere of a 19th century Siberian village.

The film should be finished by January, with most of the filming taking place in the former imperial capital of Saint Petersburg.

Rasputin, famous for his mystical influence over Russia's last Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra, was assassinated in December 1916 by a group of discontented aristocrats.

Alexandra is being played in the film by French actress Fanny Ardant.

© 2011 AFP

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