- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 30, 2005

Final curtain?

French film star Gerard Depardieu has said he is ready to quit the movie scene, although his agent insists the actor was not bowing out just yet.

Speaking on the set of his latest film, “Michou d’Auber,” Mr. Depardieu told the French newspaper Le Parisien that he was “in the process of stopping film work” and said the movie by French directorThomas Gilou would be his swan song.

Later, his agent Claude Davy, told Agence France-Presse that the actor has been saying the same “for 10 years” and his comments should not be taken at face value.

Mr. Depardieu, 56, who shot to international fame in the 1980s and 1990s with such hits as “Jean de Florette” and “Cyrano de Bergerac,” could not be reached for further comment.

His agent said it was likely the actor would be shooting less than before — perhaps one film every three years instead of three per year. “He is fed up of cinema. It doesn’t amuse him any more,” Mr. Davy said. “He wants to do deals; he wants to do other things than act.”

The food-loving Mr. Depardieu has already branched out from the acting world, acquiring some 20 wine-making properties across the world, as well two Paris restaurants. He also recently came out with an English-language cookbook.

Sarandon sanguine

Actress Susan Sarandon says her outspoken stance against the war in Iraq never hurt her career, and that the only thing Hollywood cannot forgive is “getting old and ugly.”

Miss Sarandon, 59, a longtime activist, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that even as she was getting hate mail and death threats over her opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the offers for film roles kept coming in.

“I have worked more than ever before since the protests against the Iraq war,” she was quoted as saying, in comments published in German.

“The only thing that is unforgivable [in Hollywood] is when you get old and ugly.”

She said she had not turned to a plastic surgeon like many of her middle-aged colleagues, but that she could understand the desire to lengthen a career with a few nips and tucks.

“I can’t say anything fundamentally against plastic surgery — fortunately I have not needed it yet myself,” she said.

“Eating vegetarian and jogging regularly have taken me far. But if a woman needs it to feel good about herself, why not. It’s true — when you are on the screen every wrinkle on your face looks like the San Andreas fault.”

Miss Sarandon is currently appearing in the romantic drama “Elizabethtown” with twentysomething heartthrobs Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst.

Lukewarm reviews

Broadway’s golden duo of Nathan Lane andMatthew Broderick set a record of $20 million in advance bookings for their return to Broadway as “The Odd Couple,” but the opening night drew mixed reactions from the press. Reviews ranged from “sluggish” and “serviceable” to “hilarious.” The New York Sun rated it “a handful of decent laughs from two stars staying firmly in their comfort zone” — a comment echoed in many reviews.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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