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Depardieu and Hurley team up for Russia-set thriller

French actor Gerard Depardieu, who was granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin, is set to film a thriller in Moscow and Grozny with British actress Elizabeth Hurley.

Hurley revealed on Twitter on Wednesday that she was shopping for costumes in Moscow after arriving to make the film with the veteran French actor.

“Hello Moscow!” she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday after writing on May 11 that she was “prepping for a new movie I start next week in Russia with Gerard Depardieu.”

Hurley achieved instant fame in 1994 by wearing a dress held together with safety pins while dating British actor Hugh Grant. She starred in comedies “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” and “Bedazzled.”

London-based production company Saradan Media writes on its website that Depardieu and Hurley will star in a film called “Turquoise”.

The filming will take place both in the capital and in Grozny. Depardieu is a frequent visitor to the Chechen city where he owns a highrise apartment presented to him by the strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

The film will feature “outstanding action scenes shot against the magnificent back drops of Moscow and Grozny,” the synopsis says.

The film will be directed by French director Philippe Martinez.

The spokeswoman for Chechnya’s culture ministry, Zara Amkhadova, confirmed to AFP that filming of Turquoise would take place in Grozny.

“The shooting of the film starts simultaneously in Grozny and in Moscow,” she wrote in an e-mail but said she could not give the date.

Depardieu has also announced plans to star in a film about Chechnya’s reconstruction after its two wars, called “A Father’s Heart,” with a script written by Martinez.

Depardieu has suggested it would concentrate on the role of Kadyrov’s father Akhmad, the former president who was assassinated in 2004.

“I want to explain how one person could build a city in five years,” he told Russian NTV television in February.

Depardieu and Martinez announced the project while visiting Grozny in February.

Kadyrov wrote on Twitter that it would be an “American-English-French-Russian-Chechen drama.”

Depardieu was granted fast-track Russian citizenship in January in a gesture that Putin said was due to his services to Russian culture, raising eyebrows since Russians were not familiar with any Russian-set work by Depardieu.

He starred as the influential monk Rasputin in a French television drama which Putin said in April would be released in Russia.