Gerard Depardieu, the titan of French cinema and renowned bon vivant, claims he sometimes drinks up to 14 bottles of wine a day.

Even a quintuple heart bypass operation 14 years ago does not seem to have tempered the actor's drinking, nor a serious motorcycle crash while over the legal limit.

The 65-year-old Frenchman's fondness for wine is such that he runs his own award-winning vineyard in the Medoc.

He told French magazineI: "I can't drink like a normal person. I can absorb 12, 13, 14 bottles per day.

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"In the morning, it starts at home with champagne or red wine before 10am, then again champagne."

Depardieu said he breaks up the wine intake with a little aniseed liqueur pastis.

He added: "Then food, accompanied by two bottles of wine.

"In the afternoon, champagne, beer and more pastis at around 5pm, to finish off the bottle.

"Later on, vodka and/or whisky. But I'm never totally drunk, just a little p*****d.

"All you need is a 10-minute nap and voila, a slurp of rose wine and I feel as fresh as a daisy.

"Anyway, I'm not going to die. Not now. I still have energy."

However, his behaviour was condemned by French mental health expert Professor Michel Lejoyeux, who blasted French attitudes to the heavy consumption of alcohol, and the media's admiration of his alcohol intake.

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He said: "We smile about heavy users, calling them 'bon vivants', while non-consumption is not allowed. In society, it is the one who does not drink who will feel guilty.

"A consumption of 14 bottles a day is beyond all data, all thresholds and health references of the World Health Organization.

"This is proof of the positive vision we have of alcohol poisoning."

Previously Depardieu made headlines after he was banned from an Air France flight for urinating in the aisle as it prepared to take off, forcing the plane to turn back to its parking spot.

A passenger on the flight said Depardieu appeared to be drunk and insisted he be allowed to use the bathroom during takeoff, when passengers must remain seated.

Depardieu, who took Russian citizenship in January 2013 as a protest against France's 75 per cent tax on the rich, recently came under fire for suggesting Ukraine was part of Russia.

He was asked in an interview at the Baltic Pearl film festival in Latvia about the Ukraine situation and declared he "loves both Russia, and Ukraine, which is part of Russia".

The actor was presented with his Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin himself and he launched a luxury watch line under the banner "Proud To Be Russian".

- Daily Mail