He has a "free spirit", "not afraid of freedom", whether be it on screen or speeding on his motorcycle out on the streets, or in his winery. And with this free spirit, he's grown to be "France's gift to world cinema", receiving awards from Césars to BAFTA, from Venice to Cannes to Oscar nominations, with roles ranging from Cyrano de Bergerac to Obélix, from gangsters to cardinals, from Christopher Colombus to Balzac, in more than 150 films. Yes, Cyrano de Bergerac... The director of this masterpiece, Jean-Paul Rappeneau recalls, "Who else could have played Cyrano? He alone embodies the character's poetic dimension." And Depardieu admits: "Cyrano is a tornado. He expends his energy and his feelings without a second thought and without worrying about getting hurt. I'm quite like him in this respect. There are always those who envy you when you have a free spirit, as I do; most people are afraid of freedom." What perhaps overcomes his freedom is his passion for acting. In the three months following his multiple bypass operation, he made three movies. Ever since his coincidental discovery at the Theatre Nationale Populaire in Paris, he's been acting. On stage, he's starred in more than 15 plays, including works by Marguerite Duras, Peter Hanke, Israel Horowitz, and Molière. But his presence on the silver screen is most known, all over the world. After minor roles in cinema, when he appeared in Bertrand Blier's Les Valseuses / Going Places (1974), the film that established a new type of hero in the French cinema, his popularity grew enormously. He went on to star in seven other films for Blier, including the 2005 production Combien tu m'aimes? / How Much Do You Love Me? He also teamed regularly with other French directors, such as Marguerite Duras, Francis Weber, Alain Resnais, Maurice Pialat, and Claude Berri. He has also received the National Order of Merit and the Legion of Honour in France. And he is, without a doubt, a treasure for both his home country France, and the world of cinema.