Entries in Russia (3)


Gerard Depardieu Officially a Russian Resident

THOMAS WIRTH/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- French actor Gerard Depardieu is officially a resident of One Democracy Street in the Russian city of Saransk, about 400 miles east of Moscow.

According to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, the actor traveled there on Saturday to pick up his residency papers, the last step in his quest to flee France’s new proposal to tax top incomes at 75 percent.

In December, Depardieu appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he has maintained a warm relationship, saying he would seek Russian citizenship which would allow him to enjoy the country’s 13 percent flat tax rate.

At an annual press conference Putin said he would give him citizenship if asked and a few weeks later did so by decree.

On January 6, President Putin personally handed Depardieu his Russian passport before dining together in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

Critics have dismissed Depardieu’s change of citizenship as a publicity stunt, but the the actor has pledged to travel to Saransk often and says he will learn to speak Russian and build a house there.

He says he has no interest in living in Moscow, which he says is too crowded.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Madonna’s Russian Fitness Club Opens for Business

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage(MOSCOW) -- One of Madonna’s many non-musical ventures is a line of gyms called Hard Candy — and the second one has just opened in Moscow, Russia.

The 35,000-square-foot facility, located near Red Square, features state-of-the-art equipment, a juice bar and cafe, a pool, a bike studio and many classes, including “Addicted to Sweat,” which features moves exclusively designed by Madonna and her dance team, and choreography and toning exercises that the star uses in her own fitness regime.

Madonna plans to visit Hard Candy Moscow at some point in 2012, and she, her manager Guy Oseary and their business partner will open a third location in St. Petersburg, Russia in the spring.

Also on in the works: a Hard Candy fitness center in Toronto, Canada and possible locations in Italy, the U.K., France, Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

The first Hard Candy fitness center opened in Mexico City a year ago.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Everybody Loves Raymond' Russia

Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Wireimage(MOSCOW) -- Phil Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, has made millions of Americans laugh. The challenge he faces in his new documentary, Exporting Raymond, is whether he can get the Russians to do the same.

In this culture clash of comedic proportions, Rosenthal attempts to launch a Russian version of his hit sitcom, and tries to prevent his jokes from being lost in translation.

Rosenthal says that after he decided to make the documentary and hired two camera crews to capture his exploits, his focus was only on the job in front of him.

"I had a real job to do, which was try and help the Russians turn Everybody Loves Raymond into Everybody Loves Kostya," said Rosenthal. "So that was my job, and then I worried about forming the film in editing."

The project began when Sony asked Rosenthal if he wanted to go to Russia and observe the unique way they work with the Russians. The idea was to have Rosenthal use the experience to write a fictional feature film about a creator of a show who goes to Russia to have his show translated.

"I thought, well, that's nice, but if the situation really exists and the people that you're telling me about really exist, why not bring a camera crew over and film what would really happen?" Rosenthal said in an interview with ABC News.

Sony loved the idea, and soon enough, Rosenthal found himself in Russia working in an "asbestos-laden death trap" of a studio with a motley crew of Russians who did not see eye-to-eye with his vision.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio