Watch Kate Mara Film a Deadly Car Crash in Behind-the-Scenes Look at 'Chappaquiddick' (Exclusive)
By John Boone
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"Kate's getting punished, man," Jason Clarke says of co-star Kate Mara in this exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of Chappaquiddick. "There's some tough, tough scenes. She's in the tank all night, you know? It ain't easy!"
Clarke is Sen. Ted Kennedy in the historical drama, with Mara portraying Mary Jo Kopechne, a one-time aide to Bobby Kennedy who drowned in 1969 after Ted drove the car they were in off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island -- requiring Mara to act underwater in a tank. While Mary Jo's final moments were some of the most demanding scenes to film, Mara also needed to leave a lasting impression as the plot moves on to look at the moral and legal fallout of the accident.
"It's a challenging role, because we meet her and we lose her fairly early in the story," producer Campbell McInnes explains. "She's brought a real humanity to Mary Jo and a complexity to the character that I think you're going to really understand this dynamic that existed between Ted and Mary Jo."
Chappaquiddick is available now digitally and on Blu-ray and DVD on July 10 with two featurettes -- "A Reckoning: Revisiting Chappaquiddick" and "Bridge to the Past: Editing the Film" -- that provide a look at the making of the movie.
Here is the official synopsis for Chappaquiddick:
"The Kennedy dynasty had lost three heirs apparent by 1969, and Ted (Jason Clarke) was, at the time, the family’s last hope to carry their name and ambitions into the upper echelons of US politics. Kennedy patriarch Joe (Bruce Dern), however, always considered his youngest son a ne’er-do-well -- and he never let Ted forget it. The party on Chappaquiddick reunited the 'Boiler Room Girls' who had served on Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, among them Mary Jo (Kate Mara). Ted whisks Mary Jo away for a reckless moonlight drive that ends in tragedy. But the more profound malfeasance begins after the drowning -- itself dramatized here in harrowing detail -- when a battalion of spin doctors gets to work on covering up the incident, using the Apollo 11 moon landing as a distraction."