US actor Alec Baldwin is set to play Vladimir Putin in a film about the Russian President’s life.
The actor, who last year suggested he would retire from public life after becoming embroiled in two controversies for using anti-gay slurs, has said he wants to set the record straight with his portrayal of the Russian President.
At a press conference in LA today, he said: “I got into trouble last year for my use of some words which caused offence to the gay community. I reiterate that I never intended to cause offence, and my comments had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of anyone involved.
“That being said, I would like to use this opportunity to set the record straight through a true and accurate depiction of Putin’s life.”
Discussing his admiration for Putin, Baldwin said he hoped a new “depth of understanding” of the President would come from the film, and that he was “proud” to have been offered the role.
“I feel for the guy because, like me, he has made some mistakes and been labelled anti-gay, or whatever, but he does a really great job, and looks out for his people. I hope the gay community can find it to forgive me for things I may have said before, and that a new depth of understanding will come from my performance in this role.
“I’m very proud to be able to play this part.”
The Russian President has come under heavy criticism for signing into law an act last year which bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors.
He subsequently apologised, but not before he was suspended from his MSNBC talk show
In June, GLAAD gave Baldwin the benefit of the doubt after he apologised in an open letter calling a Daily Mail writer a “toxic little queen”.
The Putin biopic is due to be released in Summer 2015.