Earlier this month, the cast—including stars Natalie Portman and Max Casella—and crew of Pablo Larraín’s latest biopic, Jackie, gathered at The Newseum for a reception and private advanced screening of the film. Here's what we learned on the red carpet.
"Camelot" Was a Concept Jackie Kennedy Crafted to Preserve Her Husband's Legacy After His Death
This is something you learn (if you didn't already know) in the film, but it turns out, we weren't the only ones surprised. Many on the red carpet, including Natalie Portman, reported this idea being the biggest thing they learned working on the film. “It was something that I learned from the script when I read it that I was so surprised about,” Portman told one reporter. “It was really astonishing that she took such a strong narrative authorship... Especially that she had that presence of mind in those days that she was going through such turmoil.”
To Prepare for His Role as Jack Valenti in the Film, Max Casella Listened to Tapes of Phone Calls Between Valenti, Robert Kennedy, and LBJ
“It's fascinating to see [that] this is how the business of the country is done, on these phone conversations,” said Casella. “It's all very matter of fact, and major things are hanging in the balance. [Director] Pablo [Larraín] said a very interesting thing to me and Peter Sarsgaard in one interchange between the two of us where we were butting heads. He said, “Nobody raise their voice. Everybody’s speaking at a whisper. Very powerful people like this, they don't have to raise their voice. They never have to do anything demonstrative. Everything’s very ‘this is how it's going to be.’” And when you listen to the phone conversations, with few exceptions, it's very boring in the way that their voices are very low. It's fascinating.”
While Jackie Tells a Gripping Story of This Small Window of Time in Jackie Kennedy's Story, It Calls for Further Thought on the Many More Layers of the First Lady's Life
“In my mind, I'd thought that Jackie really felt like a Kennedy and was really quite part of the Kennedy clan, and I don't think she was,” producer Mickey Liddell said. “I think she felt outside of it the whole time. I don't think Jackie ever really really felt like she fit in, either in Washington, or in the White House, or whatever. I think all that walking around, it's nerves and her just not being comfortable in herself.”
Channeling the Voice of One of America's Most Iconic First Ladies Required the Help of a Dialect Coach
If you've seen even the trailer for the movie, you've surely recognized Natalie Portman’s striking channeling of Jackie Kennedy’s voice. To get the tone and accent just right—and no doubt, she does—Portman listened to old tapes and worked closely with a coach. “I didn't have a ton of time to prepare; it was quite fast, but it was very intense,” she told one reporter.