Many women have played Jackie Kennedy on television, but few movies, if any, focus on how she coped the week of her husbands death. Now a new movie directed by Pablo Larraín, does exactly that.
“We all know about John F.Kennedy’s assassination – but what happens if we focus only on her?” says Chilean director Pablo Larraín on his latest film, which is about Jackie Kennedy.
“What was it like during those next three days, drowning in grief, her children shattered, the eyes of the entire world upon her?”
Natalie Portman takes on the title role; her portrayal generating Oscar buzz before it was even released.
But Jackie is not a biopic.
Instead the film focuses on the week after JFK’s assassination, as the young widow manoeuvres to define her husbands legacy.
Jackie is Larrain’s first English Language film.
He’s arguably best remembered for No, about an ad executive who comes up with a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile’s 1988 referendum – a movie that was nominated for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ Academy Award in 2013.
Actresses who’ve played Jackie Kennedy
Many actresses have portrayed Jackie Kennedy on television.
In 1981, Charlie’s Angel, Jaclyn Smith took the title role in TV movie Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy- a performance for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Ten years later in ’91, it was Roma Downey’s turn in TV mini-series A Woman Named Jackie.
Then in 2001, Jill Hennessy in Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot.
But over the past five years there’s been a surge of productions requiring actresses to play Jackie Kennedy.
They include Minka Kelly and Kat Steffens – but best remembered is probably Katie Holmes.
She’s been chosen twice, first for 2011’s ‘The Kennedys’ – and now for ‘The Kennedys: After Camelot’, a TV mini-series that’s currently in production.
But for Jackie, the big screen movie, Larrain says Natalie Portman was his only choice to play Kennedy.
He says “Jackie was the most unknown of the known people of the 20th century” and that “Natalie has that mystery too. And that creates a very beautiful, unknown intimacy.”