JFK ‘be­longs to all of us’ and Lowe sought to do right by him

Co-star Good­win saw ‘ghost of Jack’ in por­trayal

The Washington Times Daily - - Auto - BY MICHAEL FELBERBAUM AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

On his first day on the set of “Killing Kennedy,” Rob Lowe saw Gin­nifer Good­win don­ning a replica of the pink suit worn by first lady Jac­que­line Kennedy when Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy was as­sas­si­nated. Im­me­di­ately, the in­ten­sity and the re­al­ity of what they were about to de­pict in the film hit home.

“See­ing her in that beau­ti­ful pink Chanel with blood­stains on it was un­be­liev­ably emo­tional,” Mr. Lowe said in an in­ter­view on the set, briefly sup­press­ing the ac­cent he groomed to em­u­late JFK.

“It made it real,” he added. “If I were un­der any il­lu­sions about what we were do­ing, see­ing her in that iconic mo­ment was, I would say, sober­ing.”

It also set the tone for film­ing of the movie, which pro­files the Kennedy fam­ily and gun­man Lee Har­vey Oswald. Filmed in Rich­mond, it pre­mieres Sun­day on the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Chan­nel, sev­eral days be­fore the 50th an­niver­sary of JFK’s death in Dal­las.

In one scene, Mr. Lowe and Miss Good­win paint a por­trait of the last pri­vate mo­ments of the first cou­ple in a Texas ho­tel suite be­fore the pa­rade. As Jackie lays out the now in­fa­mous pink Chanel suit, the two share lov­ing ban­ter.

“I’m so glad that you’re here, it’s so much bet­ter when you’re here,” Kennedy says. “Be­cause the one thing I could never bear would be to lose you.”

The film, based on Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s book by the same name, chron­i­cles the events that cul­mi­nated with the as­sas­si­na­tion of the na­tion’s 35th pres­i­dent on Nov. 22, 1963. It care­fully in­ter­laces old film reels and TV broad­casts and delves be­yond the de­tails of that fate­ful day and the af­ter­math, show­ing view­ers the in­ti­mate mo­ments be­hind JFK’s pres­i­dency as well as the tale be­hind Oswald.

Will Roth­haar, who took on a chal­lenge por­tray­ing one of the most no­to­ri­ous killers in Amer­i­can his­tory, said he at­tempted to con­vey Oswald’s strife and frus­tra­tion just to be no­ticed, heard or re­spected.

“Ev­ery­one thinks of him as this two-di­men­sional vil­lain,” Mr. Roth­haar said, adding that while view­ers may not feel com­pas­sion for him, Oswald is cer­tainly re­lat­able.

Mr. Roth­haar stars op­po­site Michelle Trachtenberg, who plays Oswald’s wife, Ma­rina. Miss Trachtenberg speaks mainly in Rus­sian through­out the film, a lan­guage she learned from her mother while grow­ing up.

The cast also in­cludes Jack Nose­wor­thy as Robert F. Kennedy, Casey Siemaszko as Jack Ruby, Fran­cis Guinan as Lyn­don B. John­son and Richard Flood as Kennedy aide Ken­neth O’Donnell.

Mr. Lowe said the op­por­tu­nity to play JFK came with some re­spon­si­bil­ity to pay trib­ute to a his­toric fig­ure whose legacy “be­longs to all of us.”

“There’s a con­nec­tion play­ing him that is cer­tainly deeper than play­ing other roles,” Mr. Lowe said. “My in­ter­est was in who he was as a man, as a fa­ther, as a hus­band, as a hu­man be­ing, and to try to in­habit that.”

And in the eyes of Mr. Lowe’s co-star, he did.

“There were times when I felt like I was with the ghost of Jack,” Miss Good­win said. “I can’t say that I have ever had that ex­pe­ri­ence of feel­ing like maybe my scene part­ner was chan­nel­ing some­thing from a higher source.”

NA­TIONAL GE­O­GRAPHIC CHAN­NELS VIA AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Rob Lowe said the op­por­tu­nity to play Pres­i­dent Kennedy came with some re­spon­si­bil­ity to pay trib­ute to a his­toric fig­ure.

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