Johnny Depp’s French Ancestry: What is a “Huguenot?”

Posted on Dec 1st, 2012 | Category: Blog

… Of all the places on Earth, in this place called France, in this time known as the Renaissance, a rebirth of classic art and literature abounds. But a more dangerous and heretical ideal will surface– that of liberty of conscience — of freedom for all.  This concept will seem harmless, but will soon ignite a fight that will live on well beyond its time, to spark a debate that will impact the entire world for centuries to come. “Rebirth” the screenplay is an attempt to make sure this provocative true story will never be forgotten and its lessons never lost…

“Rebirth” the screenplay unfolds in a world torn between Renaissance and genocide, viewed through the eyes of a womanizing artist who finds love that changes his life and risks all in the fight for civil liberty. He stands with these brave hearts, a small group of French Aristocrats, called Huguenots, who give up fortune and fame for a dangerous belief. As they dare to speak out, they risk death or dungeon. Their persecution begins with a few outspoken nobles and explodes into massacres of even women and children and triggers a French Civil War. Their only hope is to recant their beliefs or to escape from France. Their fight and flight sparks a debate that changes political thought forever.


When all had seemed lost, the Huguenot fight for freedom sparked a debate for civil disobedience against religious and political tyranny. Their forced migration had carried their love of liberty across borders and oceans and laid the foundation for the U.S. Constitution.

Yet, it is not until the American Revolution that France’s loss truly becomes America’s gain. It was then that the French Catholic Lafayette discovered that his good friend George Washington and many other American patriots, scholars and entrepreneurs are descendants of the French Huguenots.

Notes: The English word “refugee” came from the exile of Huguenot’s from France.

Huguenot Descendant Short List:
Johnny Depp, Robert Duvall, Warren Buffet,Steve Forbes, Charlize Theron, Kenneth Branagh, Winston Churchill, Lawrence Olivier, Tyrone Power, Megan Fox, Tom Brokaw, John Rockefeller, George Patton, George Will, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Tiffany, A.I. Dupont, Charles Lindbergh, Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Jay, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Roget, Francis Marion, Davy Crockett, John Sevier, Peter James Bayard, Jean Belmain, John James Audubon, Mary Cassatt, as well as over a dozen American Presidents have documented Huguenot ancestry. Many more world citizens, knowingly and unknowingly, also share this legacy of honor.



“Rebirth”, the award winning screenplay, is now in option negotiations; the sequel in progress, and “Rebirth” the novel is on the way:



Some may say that little remains of the stories left to time, that they morph into shadowy, subjective illusions void of sharp detail.  Of course, in any century, including the present, it is also debatable whether the ideals that spring forth are lasting or fleeting, if determined by fate, providence or coincidence, whether they change hearts, minds, or even politics.


Through a dim mirror we sometimes catch a glimpse into a distant past, and wonder if we will be remembered at all, or if the way we live our lives will really make any difference at all. This may be why we repeat the mistakes of our forefathers and hand down our own legacy in blind faith with low expectations…


“Rebirth” is a passionate love story, an emotional roller coater, entertaining, exciting and inspiring. It is not intended to be a political statement or an historical narrative, yet the true to life characters bring into sharper focus the harder edge of honor versus corruption that once appeared more like a distant mirage.  Nevertheless, the heritage of love, liberty and honor inherent within the pages of “Rebirth” cries out to our humanity, and it belongs to us all.


Thank you all for your continued support!

T.L. Lewis



The themes of art, literature and liberty help re-create the romance of the Renaissance. Yet, this thirst for knowledge becomes a threat to the unbridled powers that be. Soon, what should be a time for expanding the mind turns into a time when speaking your mind can lead to the loss of your head. In spite of being trapped in a time of tyranny and terror, many find comfort in their belief that love and honor are stronger than hatred and intolerance.


(When Love finds you it changes everything…) Edmund and Genevieve find a better world in one another, and their love story is woven throughout. Love teaches us, that some things never die, that we all leave a legacy, woven by the threads that touch our hearts and makes us better human beings. Rebirth will reveal, in spite of an emotional roller coaster, that love can help us rise above all that we fear. Rebirth will ultimately inspire all who know the true power of love and honor.


As a little boy, Edmund loses his faith in humanity when he witnesses the beheading of innocents. Now, as a young man, this womanizing pacifist seeks to escape the pain of his past through pursuits of pleasure. He finds unexpected love in the the eyes of an extraordinary young woman and discovers a genuine respect for noble men who are willing to give up everything for the sake of honor. He does not share their faith, but believes in their right to defend their families and and the freedom to speak their conscience. He can no longer run from his fear, nor close his eyes to the terror unfolding around him.

Wish List: Henry Cavill, Ben Barnes, Steven Strait, Orlando Bloom, J. Rhys Meyers, Emmanuel Leconte, Hugh Dancy.

The niece of the Prince de Conde, Genevieve’s youth does not reflect her depth of intelligence and wisdom well beyond her years. She feels the weight of the world on her shoulders and has a heart of gold that she tries her best to hide. Often portraying herself as aloof to keep from getting hurt, she is empathic to the pain and cruelty in the world. Edmund wins her heart, when he opens his own to her and shares his fears and pain of his past. Edmund will teach her to trust in true love, and she will help him find his purpose and the meaning of honor.

Wish List: Breakout role. Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Annabelle Wallis, Alicja Bachleda, Alexa Davalos, Eve Hewson, Megan Fox, Romola Garai, Brittany Snow, Keira Knightley, Tania Saulnier, Natalie Portman.


During the French Renaissance, many are no longer able to accept the commands of Kings, nor the corruption of Popes. Those better educated are able to read for themselves, but not without the risk of death or dungeon. As Humanism and Reformation spread, the thirst for knowledge is viewed as a threat to the unbridled power of church and state.

Yet, some are willing to fight back. The Huguenots are at the forefront of the rebellion. Many are willing to give up fortune, fame and even their lives to preserve their honor and liberty of conscience. Prince de Conde and Admiral Coligny are their chosen leaders. Unlike William Wallace in Braveheart, who has little left to lose, these heroes are a pure and rare example of men who give up everything for a noble cause.

A man of honor and integrity, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny is debonair, yet humble and fatherly to all. He has everything a man can wish for, riches and renown with the King. In his fifties, Coligny believes religion is not a set of beliefs, but a way of life. The men who stand with him battle for the sake of honor and civil liberty. Coligny is a rare example of a man who gives up his wealth and the pleasures of success for this noble cause.

Wish List: Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Anthony Hopkins, Max Von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Jeremy Irons.

The chosen leader of the “heretics,” Louis I, Prince de Conde is a patriot that is concerned with the path that France has chosen. In his late thirties to early forties in the screenplay, he is appalled when he sees men blindly bowing to dogma, even to the point of killing fellow countrymen. His faith is not that of a religious fanatic, but one of principle, to do what is right for the future of his people and his country.

Wish List: Johnny Depp, Rufus Sewell, Clive Owen, Ed Norton, Mark Rylance, Tony Schinea, Gerard Butler.

In her forties, Jean D’Albret, Queen of Navarre is an intelligent, well-read and practical woman. Her ideology represents the best of humanism, mysticism and religious reform. She is sincere in her pursuit of the truth and enjoys Plato, even having his dialogues translated. She has little patience for dogma, but pursues the ideal of moderation in religion, rejecting many aspects of medieval Catholicism. At her court, she gives refuge to dissenters and allows for freedom of conscience.

Wish List: Emmanuelle Beart, Embeth Davitz, Cate Blanchette, Annette Benning, Charlize Theron, Dagmara Dominczyk.


When the pursuit of knowledge threatens the “powers that be,” intolerance tramples the law and civil liberty and the torture and murder of the brightest and most noble Frenchmen becomes commonplace.

In his early to mid-forties, Henry, Duke de Guise is charming, arrogant and ruthless. With intolerance blessed, corruption erupts into violence when he and his followers commit mass murder. He is not arrested, but is instead greeted like a present day rock star hero as he is cheered on through the streets of Paris. He is both immensely ambitious and popular, and is often called “the people’s king.” Admiration for him is so great that a contemporary once wrote,”It is too little to say that France is in love with that man. She is bewitched by him.”

Wish List: Vincent Cassel, Ed Norton, Tom Sizemore, Joseph Fiennes.


The Queen Mother of France, Catherine de Medici tries to mediate peace, but is trusted by no one. Well-educated, with the heart of a humanist but a Machiavellian mind, Catherine tries to suffer the Guise’s intolerance and bigotry when faced with the possible loss of power for her and her children: King Charles IX, King Henri III and Marguerite de Valois.

Wish List: Isabelle Huppert, Helena Bonham Carter, Sally Field, Judy Dench, Miranda Richardson, Helen Mirren.

In his fifties, Louis II, Cardinal of Guise exhibits a pretentious piety as he protects those loyal, while also trying to bring the full power of the Inquisition to France. He is devoutly loyal his brother, the Duke de Guise, and they both abuse power through tyranny and terror, opposing the more tolerant policies of Catherine de Medicis. It is the Guise arrogance and cruelty against anyone they deem “heretics” that directly leads to the French Wars of Religion.

Wish List: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Tim Roth, Geoffrey Rush, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons, Tim Curry, Tim Hutton.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Kevin Nealon and Friends at a cancer charity for a mutual friend, Joseph Kenny. We all dearly miss you Big Joe.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.