Gerard Depardieu, the larger-than-life French actor, jumped into Europe's migrant debate Friday, saying the new arrivals are the only hope as masses of "normal people" are losing any sense of cultural appreciation.
"People no longer have neither culture nor culture identity. When individuals do have culture, they are dragged back down," the polarising screen legend told Le Figaro newspaper ahead of the publication of his new book, "Monster", next week.
And when it comes to movies, he said, "it's simple: I only see the films that critics hate."
"Migrants are the only chance we have: which is to say, in the future, when these people have been integrated," said the 68-year-old actor, who accepted Russian citizenship in 2013.
"It's the minorities of yesterday who have become the majority today."
The star of films including "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Green Card", who notoriously gave up his French citizenship and moved to Belgium after a French tax hike, also had harsh words for his home country.
"Contrary to what journalists say, I didn't leave because of taxes... What I cannot stand, and this is why this country bores me, is seeing all the French mournful as death."
"France is a beautiful country, but it's people are lost. When I'm in France, I stay here at home, with my books: I don't want to go out and see the disaster."