Rob Lowe put in a lot of work to play President Kennedy in National Geographic’s upcoming film, “Killing Kennedy.”
The actor spent a huge amount of time on trying to mirror many aspects of the late leader, including getting the accent just right.
So how did he do it?
“Hours and hours and hours of listening to his private phone conversations, his dictations, the speeches and then finding the idiosyncrasies in the speech and then forgetting about it when you’re on the set – like not worrying about the accent,” Rob told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. “It can’t be about the accent. It has to be about the human touchstones that make all of us the same.”
Rob said he wanted to take on the role with respect, not only because he admired the man, but for other reasons he explained to Billy.
“I have relationships with the Kennedy family and I’m very conscious of that legacy and I wanted to treat it with respect,” Rob said. “But I also wanted it to be historically accurate and it’s the 50th anniversary of his murder and I do think it’s a story that the country should revisit, particularly because there’s two generations of Americans that don’t know what it was like to lose him and this was a good reminder. This was our first collective live television national grieve event. This was the very first one.”
Playing the First Lady – Jackie Kennedy – in the film is “Once Upon a Time’s” Ginnifer Goodwin and Rob said seeing her on set made him emotional.
“There were times that I would look at her in her pillbox hat and that pink Chanel suit from Dallas, which is the most iconic — one of the most iconic and sad looks in American history and I would just be transported,” Rob said. “I would just be back there and I would feel like I was talking to Jackie Kennedy. The first time I met Ginny, I was doing a makeup test and she came in and she had already been shooting and she was in the dress with the blood on it. And I just had to turn — I had to turn away. The tears filled up in my eyes. It’s — that image is still so powerful and alive.”
“Killing Kennedy” premieres November 10 at 8 PM ET/PT on National Geographic channel.