There is a mystery on a Greek island that Edward Norton plays in Netflix’s new series Glass Onion in which he plays a billionaire.
Despite this, the actor revealed a few secrets about himself during the first episode of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots” season nine, which aired Tuesday evening.
There Is A Lot More To Edward Norton’s Family Roots Than He Realized
During an interview with the New York Times, the American actor Edward Norton claimed that his 12th great-grandmother, Pocahontas, the romanticized and mythologized 17th-century daughter of a Native American chief, is the real-life Pocahontas.
In Tuesday’s episode of PBS’ genealogical history series “Finding Your Roots,” the Oscar-nominated star learned of the connection between his family and the woman who married Virginia settler John Rolfe during the colonial period.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a historian, and host confirmed the longstanding family rumor to be accurate, telling Norton: “There is no doubt that you have a direct paper trail, no doubt about it, to your 12th great-grandmother and great-grandfather, John Rolfe and Pocahontas.”
A few days after Shakespeare’s death, Gates writes in his biography that the couple was married in Jamestown, Virginia, on April 5, 1614 – when William Shakespeare still lived. As Pocahontas died three years later in Gravesend, England, it was revealed that Rolfe was killed in March of 1622, while Pocahontas died three years later in Gravesend, England.
“It just makes you realize what a small … piece of the whole human story you are,” Norton remarked following the revelation. The arrival of English settlers in the present-day US began in the early 17th century, with Pocahontas welcoming them. However, her life is said to have been saved by laying her head on the head of Captain John Smith, which caused his execution to be postponed.
Norton’s Ancestors Owned A Family Of Slaves
Norton also learns in this episode that he was once related to a slave family consisting of a 55-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman raising five daughters. As a result of the discovery, the star of the film “Glass Onion” admitted to feeling very “uncomfortable.”
According to him, “the short answer is that these things feel uncomfortable, and you should feel uncomfortable about it. Everyone should feel uncomfortable about it.” In the rest of the interview, the actor explained that he does not see the news as a “judgment” of himself but instead as an assessment of the past.
In his words, Norton told me: “It is not a judgment on you or your own life, but a judgment on the history of this country. It is a judgment that must first be acknowledged, but then it must be contested.”
During the Finding Your Roots Taping, Norton Was Better Prepared
Gates Jr. mentioned during the taping of the Finding Your Roots episode that Norton had come ready to talk about his family’s genealogy better than any other guest he has ever had, besides the fact that his grandparents had transcribed the journals of at least one ancestor in the 19th century. So Norton was “better prepared than any guest I can recall.”
“I gotta be honest, one of the things that amaze me is that they were making these kinds of records in that tumultuous time,” Norton told Gates Jr. after the host revealed through registration papers that another ancestor joined the Continental Army under George Washington in 1777.
Gates Jr. also revealed at the end of the episode that Roberts has a sequence of DNA that is very similar to Norton, which means that they may share a common ancestor somewhere in their ancestry. Julia Roberts was also featured on the season premiere of Finding Your Roots. Stay tuned for more such celeb gossip in the coming weeks.