‘Jackie’ stars discuss portraying JFK assassination’s aftermath

History comes to the big screen in “Jackie,” but this story, about the former first lady, isn’t one you’ll read in a textbook. Instead, it focuses on how Mrs. Kennedy handled grieving in the public eye. Deco’s Chris Van Vliet, always in the public eye, sat down with the cast of the new drama.

Natalie Portman won her first Oscar in 2011 when she starred in “Black Swan,” and now she’s gunning for No. 2 as she plays Jackie Kennedy to perfection.

Natalie Portman (as Jacqueline Kennedy): “People like to believe in fairy tales.”

It was the time of Camelot.

Natalie Portman (as Jacqueline Kennedy): “I believe that the characters we read about on the page end up being more real than the men who stand beside us.”

The Kennedy family went from the highest highs to the lowest lows during John F. Kennedy’s brief time in the White House.

Natalie Portman (as Jacqueline Kennedy): “I’m saying, ‘Jack, Jack, can you hear me?'”

The movie “Jackie” is a look at the week immediately following Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

Natalie Portman: “We’ve had Jackie Kennedy in our eyes for so long, and it’s amazing to see her humanity. She really did a lot for our country, which I think you can see, and she has never gotten her due.”

The film stars Natalie Portman, and is told from Jackie Kennedy’s point of view.

Natalie Portman: “She knew how important, even when she was in private turmoil, to have this very public ritual and symbolism for the country, and to tell a story that was going to stick and cement her husband’s legacy.”

In real life, the former first lady granted an interview to Time Magazine right after JFK’s death. In the flick, she gives an interview to a journalist played by Billy Crudup.

Billy Crudup: “She wanted to lay out what the legacy should be, in her estimation.”

For the movie, the journalist proves that on the outside, Mrs. Kennedy was in control of nearly every aspect of her husband’s funeral and memorial.

But on the inside, she could barely hold it together.

Billy Crudup: “He didn’t want to be a puppet and somebody who was just selling her goods. He wanted to find out what made her a substantive human being.”

The flick also focuses on Jackie’s relationship with one of John’s younger brothers, Robert, played by Peter Sarsgaard.

Peter Sarsgaard: “In a lot of ways it’s like a love story, in that the person we are longing for is not there. In some ways, it’s a post-traumatic syndrome psychological thriller.

“Jackie” is a look at a woman who, in her grief, realized she was part of history.

Natalie Portman: “It wasn’t so common then to take authorship of their legacy, and the fact that she did that shows a sign of how forward thinking she was.”

“Jackie” is in theaters now, and Natalie says the most important part about playing Jackie Kennedy was also the hardest: It was getting the voice right.

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