The grief of a First Lady

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TV -

It was 50 years ago that United States Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy was as­sas­si­nated by lone gun­man, Lee Har­vey Oswald. Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Chan­nel’s Killing Kennedy chron­i­cles the lives of th­ese two men that ended at a point which al­tered the course of his­tory. Based on a best-sell­ing book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, Killing Kennnedy stars Rob Lowe (Kennedy), Will Roth­haar (Oswald), Michelle trachtenberg (Ma­rina Oswald) and Gin­nifer Good­win (Jac­que­line Kennedy). In a tran­script pro­vided by the chan­nel, Good­win talked about work­ing on this project.

What was it like to play such an iconic char­ac­ter?

there was a bit of pres­sure go­ing into play­ing Jackie Kennedy, as I’m sure there was with any of the roles in this film. I have read other scripts in which Jackie ap­peared and I have bla­tantly not wanted to touch her. She is, I think, ev­ery mod­ern woman’s idol, and so it was im­por­tant to me that, if I ever did play her, I felt em­pow­ered to do jus­tice to the per­son she was.

What about this script made you want to fi­nally play her?

this is the first time I read a script in­volv­ing Jackie that I felt had a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. It is re­spect­ful, it is in­ti­mate and re­veal­ing, and the nar­ra­tive is cap­ti­vat­ing. I could not put the script down, and I was re­ally in­spired. Ul­ti­mately, I think what re­ally at­tracted me was that, in this story, we are show­ing so many pri­vate mo­ments, which gave me a lit­tle more cre­ative free­dom than I even re­alised go­ing into it. I had not re­ally thought about the pub­lic ver­sion of her ver­sus the pri­vate ver­sion of her. then I started re­search­ing the role and thought, of course, and found there is al­most no in­for­ma­tion about what hap­pened be­hind closed doors. there are a lot of as­sump­tions, and I think most peo­ple, in­clud­ing me, project onto them what we want th­ese peo­ple to have been. But be­cause al­most all of the Jackie scenes in this film take place be­hind closed doors, as an ac­tress,there was some­thing lib­er­at­ing, some­thing that took some of the pres­sure off and made it a lit­tle less over­whelm­ing.

Why should peo­ple see this film?

What was at­trac­tive to me about it, and what I think the au­di­ence is go­ing to love, is that it is so in­cred­i­bly ed­u­ca­tional and yet the story is so riv­et­ing and per­sonal and inti- mate and re­lat­able and dev­as­tat­ing and ugly and idyl­lic, all at the same time — much like real life. It is also like we have been film­ing two dif­fer­ent movies: one on the Kennedys and one on the Oswalds. Our di­rec­tor, Nel­son McCormick, de­scribes this as be­ing like two trains com­ing from two dif­fer­ent ends of the universe on a col­li­sion course. When I read the script, I hoped there would be a dif­fer­ent end­ing. Clearly, all of us know what is go­ing to hap­pen mo­ment for mo­ment, and yet there is some­thing about the build­ing of ten­sion mixed with th­ese beau­ti­ful, quiet mo­ments that does make you al­most think some­thing else could hap­pen.

Catch Killing Kennedy tonight at 9pm on Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Chan­nel (Astro Ch 553).

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