Georgina Sparks and Dawn Summers, is that you?!
Michelle Trachtenberg has been trending nationwide on Twitter today, thanks to the first look photo of her as Marina Oswald, in the buzzed-about biopic Killing Kennedy, which stars Rob Lowe as President John F. Kennedy, coming to Nat Geo on November. Playing the wife of Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, Trachtenberg looks nearly unrecognizable with soft brown '60s styled hair and subdued makeup. Even better, Gossip Girl fans, she's holding a baby super maternally and not trying to dupe Dan into believing he's the father!
We chatted with Michelle about her dramatic makeover (under?) for the movie, taking on the role of Marina and how it feels to trend for the first time...
What kind of reaction have you heard this morning after the photo was released?
I'm grateful to be receiving such positive response on a project I'm so proud to be a part of. Killing Kennedy is a transitional moment for me as an actress—and working alongside industry icons like Ridley Scott and Rob Lowe has been a great learning experience. It's not a bad way to start the day, waking up to texts and e-mails that the photo was trending!
How much work went into looking like that?
Donning her '60's style wardrobe is the biggest step into Marina Oswald's shoes. The hair and makeup is a process, but compliments the transformation. Prior to shooting, I did a ton of research on Marina—I watched DVDs, YouTube videos, read books and interviews—so I can honestly say that every aspect of her look is well thought-out and as authentic as possible.
Did people recognize you in person?
I do think this is a big transformation for me because I haven't done a ton of period pieces. This is an iconic role, so I don't want people to necessarily see me when they look at these photos. But at the same time, I do think Marina and I share many physical characteristics that help me in this role.
What drew you to the role of Marina?
We are inundated with information about JFK, Jackie [Kennedy], and Lee Harvey Oswald, but what I loved about Marina is that she is the unsung hero of the JFK assassination story. Despite the fact that she's the only one still alive, she hasn't been explored to that extent. I also responded to the fact that she was an innocent, who knew nothing of her husband's plans, yet became instantaneously ostracized and famous in connection to the murder. I think she's someone who, at the core, is one of the most relatable characters.
The two-hour docudrama will air on the National Geographic Channel in November, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the president's death.