I think we’ve all seen plenty of historical films where the characters look pretty similar to the real-life people that they are playing. Put an actor in a similar outfit or in the same iconic pair of glasses, and it’s usually a close enough resemblance to make audiences happy. That said, rarely can they really look identical the people they are portraying. However, the pictures that were released on Wednesday of Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy? They will make you do a serious double-take.
Maybe it’s the fact that the photo is taken from far away. The angle is clearly taken from some distance — we see Portman as Kennedy from afar, walking down the steps from a recreation of the plane that carried the real Jackie O and her husband, President John F. Kennedy, to Texas. But if it weren’t for the production crew behind her, it would be really hard to tell whether that was Portman in that iconic pink suit or Jackie O herself.
Let’s talk for a minute about that pink suit too, because that also might have a lot to do with the striking resemblance between the actress and the former First Lady. No one can rock a skirt suit like the late, great Jackie Kennedy. Her sense of style inspired millions of women (and multiple museum exhibits) for decades after she lived in the White House. But that pink suit is a memorable one, because it was the one she was wearing when President Kennedy was shot and killed along a parade route in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963.
The image from the movie captures Portman as Jackie O on the morning of her husband’s death, which is incredibly chilling. But the timing makes sense since Jackie takes place during the few days after the President’s death.
Still, Portman looks so much like the former First Lady, it’s kind of disorienting. I had to squint when I first saw it — I pulled my computer screen closer. "Is that Natalie Portman or Jackie Kennedy?" I asked myself. Because the distance, the grainy camera, and the impeccable costuming makes it really, really hard to tell Portman from the former First Lady.
But all of this look-alike business has me even more excited for the movie. If Portman is able to embody the former First Lady so effectively that it leaves viewers wondering which one is which, then her portrayal of her is likely to be just as stunning.