Published On: Thu, May 3rd, 2018

Jason Clarke speaks harshly of Ted Kennedy, the facts in ‘Chappaquiddick’

Director John Curran’s Chappaquiddick crushes the legacy of Ted Kennedy, highlighting the events surrounding Mary Jo Kopechne, played by Kate Mara. Jason Clarke spoke with Collider about the film, offering up his response to the script, which is the way many in the audience may feel.

“I thought I knew quite a bit. I prided myself on being reasonably educated and having an understanding of 20th century history, and I’ve done Brotherhood in Rhode Island, so I’ve met Ted. You know, doing research I was surprised at how much I didn’t know.”

Then comes the reaction: “When I read the script, I was very angry, very- I felt like, oh my god, this happened? Then you go, c’mon, this is not believable. She wasn’t still alive in the car, that must be a device. He didn’t really wear a neck brace, c’mon. Is that just for a bit of a laugh in there or something. Then you go, this is actually true. There’s a lot I had no idea about. I started researching it, and I read different books, and interviews, and articles from the time, and senatorial privilege- and you go, the writers have done their research, they’ve got their facts right here. There’s no made up things just for dramatic sake…”

“Things are much more complicated and in depth than I ever realized. This story- there’s a lot going on in this world with this man, with this time, a year on from his brother being shot in the head in front of everybody- in front of the whole world.”

Clarke doesn’t hold back from some judgment: “He walked away- well he committed a heinous act of walking away from a woman in a car. In playing it I assumed that he thought she was dead. You can understand, he can make that assumption for a while. But even still, he left her in the car, man. This woman worked on Bobby’s campaign; was a smart, passionate woman who believed in- Bobby’s campaign was the great liberal charge of the time…”

” It was a bad situation. We don’t go into the actual ins and outs of that. You can say, yeah, the facts are yes, his wife was at home pregnant. He’s in an island, partying in a house. We deliberately chose not to go into- do we want to- are they on the beach having sex, do we show some nudes? It was about the humanness and the intimacy of this man’s moral decision. You see enough to know that he knew this woman, that he was with this woman, that he cared about this woman- that she cared about him. They had a connection- whether that was anything physical or whether that was just their brother or whatever. There’s enough there to show- and then they went and walked away and left her.”

Clarke touched on some of the insane facts of the case and cutting the film to send a specific narrative, check it out HERE


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