— -- While promoting his new film "Welcome To New York," Gerard Depardieu said he's still making movies, because "I have to make a living."
"Besides, I do other things too," the 65-year-old French actor told So Film. "Cinema is not the only thing I do, luckily. I hang out with artists, I travel, I'm into cuisine, and wine."
He wasn't kidding about the wine.
"When I'm bored, I drink," he continued. "Apart from occasional compulsory moments of abstinence. After undergoing bypass surgery (five times), and also because of cholesterol and stuff, I have to be careful. Anyway, I’m not going to die. Not now. I still have energy."
He continued, "But if ever I start drinking… I can’t drink like a normal person. I can absorb 12, 13, 14 bottles…per day. But I’m never totally drunk, just a little pissed. All you need is a 10-minute nap and voilà, a slurp of rosé wine and I feel as fresh as a daisy! I have to admit that when I start counting, doctors start worrying."
The actor also commented on his reputation, saying, "I don't care about reputations. No one knows me, not even myself ... Ego is just a way of being reassured. That's why the word exists. If you are free, you don't need to be egocentric. You can do whatever you want to do, without paying attention to what people think. Do you think that if I was egocentric I could approach Jean-Paul II, Mitterrand, Castro, Putin, and all those kinds of people? I don't care about having an ego."
"Putin is a simple guy, a former KGB agent who was long imprisoned in Vienna. I told him about what I had read about the army in Stalingrad. I read a lot. He said to me 'But how do you know all that?’ It’s because it interests me as much as the stories of Rasputin, Ivan Grozny, and Catherine the Great or Alexander II. Then he told me about his father," he added. "Fidel was a smart guy. He saved Chávez. Chávez was about to kill himself. His daughter called Fidel. And Fidel told Chávez: 'If you die now, you'll become some sort of a hero, but if you wait until after your two-year stint in jail, you will become president, like me.'"
A request for comment from Depardieu's rep was not immediately returned to ABC News.