The legacy of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is such that all First Ladies who moved into the White House after her tenure have been held up against her, for better or for worse. In the biopic Jackie, in theaters Dec. 2, Natalie Portman takes on the role of Mrs. Kennedy. The drama focuses primarily on the days between John F. Kennedy's assassination and funeral and is framed by the famous interview his widow gave to Time Magazine journalist Theodore H. White (Billy Crudup). Portman's portrayal comes after actors like Katie Holmes, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Minka Kelly have put on the legendary figure's famous pillbox hat. I have no doubt that her performance will be impeccable, but how does her look stack up? Keep reading to see a photo comparison of Natalie Portman in Jackie and the real Jackie Kennedy, who passed away in 1994.
The trailer for the film gives audiences a glimpse at the stunningly familiar costume and styling work done on Jackie. Portman strived to bring the same level accuracy to her performance. The actress told Vanity Fair, "I got to combine the research of looking at every video I could find and reading every book I could find and listening to audio tapes of her interviews." And by playing the former First Lady, Portman got a better understanding of the "inner strength it took to be that composed to the world," after her husband bled out in her arms.
I'll be shocked if Portman isn't nominated for another Oscar for this film. It doesn't hurt that her resemblance to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is uncanny.
In The Infamous Pink Suit
Kennedy Onassis wore a candy pink skirt suit on that fateful day in Dallas in 1963. And despite popular belief, it wasn't a Chanel piece. According to CNN, Kennedy Onassis was wearing an American-made Chanel knock-off when her husband was killed. She refused to change out of it until she was back at home in the White House, even though it was stained with the president's blood.
With President John F. Kennedy
Portman shines in this scene, wearing Kennedy Onassis's signature red and pearls to dance with her husband. The New York Times reported that in a taped interview with historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., the former First Lady claimed that her aim was to provide President Kennedy with "a climate of affection and comfort and détente" at all times.
As a Style Icon
Mrs. Kennedy knew that all eyes are on a First Lady and her fashion choices. There are trends that are still overwhelmingly associated with her, even if they're still in style, like oversized sunglasses, monochromatic ensembles, expensive coats, and head scarves. Just this year, In Style shared 16 Style Lessons to Learn from Jackie Kennedy, proving that her taste was timeless.
With A Wavy Bob
Portman perfectly pulls off the touchable bob that Kennedy wore during her husband's term. In an interview with Vanity Fair, her hairdresser Kenneth Battelle talked about his inspiration for the First Lady's approachable look. He said: "I believed that hair should be like fabric — light should pass through it, and you should want to put your hand in it. I thought of hair as soft, healthy, lustrous, innocent, and pretty, like a child’s."
Opening Her Home To The Public
In 1962, the First Lady hosted a televised tour of the White House. Though it was broadcast in black and white, press photos show that she was wearing this cherry red suit.
Flanked by her brothers-in-law Robert F. Kennedy and Edward Kennedy and holding the hands of her children John Jr. and Caroline, Jackie Kennedy attended her husband's funeral. According to The Washington Post, her veil was constructed of Swiss lace, and Kennedy had poured herself into planning a suitably respectful service and procession.
Natalie Portman is one of her generation's finest actors and will surely do justice to this historical part. It's just a bonus that she and Jackie Kennedy look so much alike.
Images: Fox Searchlight Pictures (6)