The Controversy at Chappaquiddick: Jason Clarke on Playing Ted Kennedy

In 1969, Ted Kennedy drove his car off of a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, plummeting into a tidal channel below. He managed to escape the wreck alive, but, trapped inside the car, his passenger—Mary Jo Kopechne, a political strategist—died.

The accident rocked the nation, and sent Kennedy’s political career into chaos as he struggled to weather an exhaustive investigation. The recently-released film ‘Chappaquiddick,’ from director John Curran, takes an in-depth look at the crash, along with Kennedy’s scramble to respond to the tragedy.

On this episode of ‘VICE Talks Film,’ we sat down with Jason Clarke—who plays Kennedy—to hear what it was like to take on the role, and what he learned about the Chappaquiddick incident through his work on the film.

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