12 Celebrities You Didn't Know Could Speak French
Happy Bastille Day (July 14th) to our French Treehutters around the world!
Chances are, if you're neither French nor a history buff, you might not know what Bastille Day is. Well, "Fête de la Fédération" celebrates the pivotal moment of the start of the French Revolution. On July 14, 1789, angry Parisians united together to storm the Bastille, where Louis XVI imprisoned those who spoke against the monarchy. Bastille Day became a national holiday in 1880, as the French reminisced about freedom in the Third Republic. Today, the festival represents red-white-and-blue national pride more than the Revolution itself.
In celebration of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality, we've curated a list of 12 celebrities who speak the language of love. Prendre plaisir!
France is one of our favorite places to play tourist! Check out the Tree Hut Boyd watch saying hello to the Notre Dame Cathedral.
1. Johnny Depp
The masterful actor, whom some may know as Captain Jack, Edward Scissorhands, or Willy Wonka (among others), is also very talented in picking up languages. Depp learned conversational French when he lived in Paris with his long-term girlfriend and their two children, who have dual citizenship.
2. Jodie Foster
Foster learned French at the Lycée Français de Los Angeles, a prep school that she attended for twelve years. According to native speakers, her French is impeccable, and she even dubs herself in French translations of her movies.
What a heartthrob. Beautiful and intelligent.
3. Bradley Cooper
During his Georgetown career, Cooper spent a semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence, where he lived with a host family for six months. Despite not living in France for over twenty years, his French is still fresh, and he even conducts interviews with French journalists. It seems like immersion is the key!
4. Audrey Hepburn
We can all agree that Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of elegance, grace, and class, which is not very surprising considering her aristocratic background. Her father was a British subject from Bohemia, and her mother was a Dutch baroness. Hepburn herself was born in 1929 in German-occupied Brussels. As a result of her multinational background, the Breakfast at Tiffany's actress was quite the polyglot, speaking fluent English, Dutch, French, Italian, and Spanish.
5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Levitt learned French (both the language and a bit of poetry) through his studies at Columbia University. A self-proclaimed Francophile, he set out to further improve his skills in preparation for his role as Philippe Petit in The Walk (2015).
Pretty sexy, no?
6. Serena Williams
Like Levitt, Williams is also a self-proclaimed Francophile -- in more ways than merely winning five French Opens. Serena tried to impress her French fans and improve her skills by learning French. She also owns an apartment off the Champs de Mars and once dated a hunky French coach. Her famous and equally talented sister, Venus, does not speak the language.
7. John Kerry
Monsieur John Kerry, the current Secretary of State, actually has pretty strong ties to France. He first learned the language when he attended a Swiss boarding school as a child, but the culture had a lasting impact on him. He also spent his summers, lounging with his grandparents in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, Brittany. Here's a clip of Kerry expressing his condolences after the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks:
8. Hugh Jackman
Despite being Australian, Hugh Jackman's second language is French. We're not sure where he learned it, but we're assuming it's because his wife once lived in France.
9. Emma Watson
The lovable and gorgeous Hermoine (we'll never see her as anything else) was born in Paris to British parents. Her first language was not even English! Although she moved away at age five, she's kept up her talents d'orateur.
10. Tom Hiddleston
The famous actor -- and the hottest Norse God ever on the silver screen -- also has an affinity for learning as many languages as he can. He cites this to his expectation that everyone doesn't speak English, so he always tries to interact with his fans in their native language. Besides knowing the classic romance languages, Hiddleston can speak fluent Greek and also some Russian, Latin, German, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese.
11. Sandra Oh
Sandra Oh picked up French while studying acting at a university in Montreal. Does anyone else forget that there's this giant province in Canada that speaks French as its first language?
Even Cristina Yang, her Grey's Anatomy character, speaks French. The show needed some way to show off Oh's flawless accent!
12. Leighton Meester
Not quite sure where Meester learned French, but she certainly speaks beautifully! Her language ability certainly came in handy for her character, Blair, on Gossip Girl and her role in the 2011 film Monte Carlo.
So there you have it: 12 celebrities you didn't know could speak French!
If you're on the hunt for a Bastille Day present or perhaps something for your French significant other, treat them to an engraved wood watch!